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HMRC internal manual

Inheritance Tax Manual

Succession: Scottish Prior and Legal rights: Introduction

Under Scots Law the surviving spouse or civil partner (IHTM11032) and the children of a person who has died domiciled in Scotland have the following rights in the estate of that person

Prior rights (IHTM12211)

These are the statutory entitlement of the surviving spouse or civil partner, and apply in intestacy (IHTM12101) or partial intestacy (IHTM12156) cases only. They consist of a right to

  • a house,
  • furniture, and
  • a cash provision.

Legal rights including rights under s131 of the Civil Partnership Act 2004

These rights (IHTM12221), which stem mainly from common law, are available to both the surviving spouse or civil partner and to surviving children, (IHTM12252) in all cases, whether the deceased died testate or intestate. They are determined according to the value of, and paid from, moveable estate (IHTM12225) only.