Trusts and Succession (Scotland) Bill passed

21 Dec 2023

The Trusts and Succession (Scotland) Bill passed Stage 3 in the Scottish Parliament yesterday. 

Part 1, on Trusts, will implement the wide ranging recommendations in our Report on Trusts, SLC No 239; 2014, which can be seen here. (However, the application to pension trusts will need to await the passage of a statutory instrument under section 104 of the Scotland Act 1998 at Westminster.)  This will mean that the current law, which largely dates from a statute of 1921, will be clarified and made fit for the conditions and citizens of today.  Trusts are used nowadays in a vast number of different situations, whether for commercial bodies or consumers or private individuals, and the efficiency of their operation will be enhanced by having fresh legislation.

Part 2, on Succession, will implement two of the recommendations in our Report on Succession, SLC No 215; 2009, which can be seen here: first, by providing that where a person dies without a valid will and leaves a spouse but no issue, the surviving spouse will be entitled to the whole of the net estate; and, secondly, by adjusting the time limit within which a surviving cohabitant can apply for a share of the deceased’s estate.

We are delighted that all of these recommendations have been adopted.  We are also grateful for the continued support of the former SLC Chair and lead Commissioner Lord Drummond Young during the Bill’s passage.

The Bill is accessible on the Scottish Parliament’s website here.