Land Reform, Inheritance Rights and Unintended Consequences

Reid, D. and Sweeney, N. (2015) Land reform, inheritance rights and unintended consequences. Child and Family Law Quarterly, 27(4), pp. 403-422

21 Pages Posted: 17 Nov 2019

See all articles by Dot Reid

Dot Reid

University of Glasgow

Nicole Sweeney

University of Glasgow

Date Written: November 6, 2015

Abstract

The Scottish government is currently consulting on a radical programme of reform of succession law. The reforms have been adopted as part of the government’s land reform strategy, aiming to make Scotland fairer and to treat children equally by ending the distinction between different types of property in an estate. However, the authors show that the proposals will bring about unintended consequences and in the vast majority of cases will result in the children of a parent who is married at the time of death inheriting nothing. It is argued that inheritance law should concern itself mainly with ordinary families of average wealth rather than being distorted by the uncertainties of the housing market. The reforms are contextualised with reference to research studies examining how modern families operate in terms of rights and obligations, and the results of a recent qualitative study of Scottish public attitudes to inheritance are introduced.

Keywords: inheritance, succession law, empirical research, Scots law, qualitative research, inequality, distribution of wealth, public policy

Suggested Citation

Reid, Dot and Sweeney, Nicole, Land Reform, Inheritance Rights and Unintended Consequences (November 6, 2015). Reid, D. and Sweeney, N. (2015) Land reform, inheritance rights and unintended consequences. Child and Family Law Quarterly, 27(4), pp. 403-422. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3482044

Dot Reid (Contact Author)

University of Glasgow ( email )

5 The Square
Glasgow, Scotland G12 8QQ
United Kingdom

Nicole Sweeney

University of Glasgow ( email )

Scotland
United Kingdom

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