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HMRC internal manual

Inheritance Tax Manual

Legal rights (Scotland): valuation under the general law

Legal rights (IHTM12221) are entitlements to fixed fractions of the moveable estate of the deceased at the date of their death. The value used is therefore normally based upon the respective values of the assets and liabilities making up the estate at the date of death, as returned for IHT purposes. However, where the estate is wound up within a reasonable time, the value actually realised, if different from the IHT value, will be used in calculating the amounts payable in legal rights.

The total fund available for the for the calculation of the legal rights is the net moveable estate remaining after the deduction of

  • debts, funeral expenses, IHT, and that proportion of the administration expenses and of any similar charges which is due out of the moveable estate, and
  • any prior rights (IHTM12211) on intestacy (IHTM12101) so far as these are due out of moveables.

The beneficiary entitled to legal rights is also entitled to interest (IHTM10301) on the sum due in satisfaction of their claim. This interest runs from the date of death of the deceased to the date on which payment is made to the beneficiary.