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Share your views on the Trusts and Succession (Scotland) Bill

21 Feb 2023

The Scottish Parliament’s Delegated Powers and Law Reform Committee has launched a consultation on the Scottish Government’s Trusts and Succession (Scotland) Bill and you are invited to share your views.

The Committee is particularly keen to hear from trustees - both professional trustees, whose commercial business includes handling trusts for other people, and lay trustees, who are not acting in a professional capacity in their role.

The consultation is open until Friday, 17 March 2023. You can view the full details on it here: Consultation on the Trusts and Succession (Scotland) Bill.

What will the Bill do?

The Bill aims to change the law in relation to two areas:

  • Trusts - how they are administered and managed; and
  • Succession - who has the right to inherit, and in what order.

A trust is a legal device which allows assets to be owned by one person or organisation, while a different individual, organisation, or section of the general public, benefits from those assets in practice. The Scottish Government's Policy Memorandum notes that the Bill aims to modernise the law in relation to trusts, a way of managing assets which has been in use since the 17th century. Trusts are used for a wide range of legal purposes, affecting families, businesses, charities and financial institutions. 

The Bill aims to clarify:

  • what kind of investments can be made by a trustee
  • a trustee’s duty of care in relation to their role
  • whether a person can be a trustee or not
  • how someone would stop being a trustee by resigning or being removed
  • what type of information a trustee must provide to other people (including to beneficiaries – the people who will benefit from the trust ) and how often
  • the management of private purpose trusts.

The Policy Memorandum also notes that the Bill would amend the order of succession in intestate estates (where someone dies without a will) to reflect contemporary perception of the role of spouses and civil partners in the family of the deceased.

Visit the Scottish Parliament website to find more information about the Bill.

What’s next?

Once the consultation ends, the Committee will consider all written evidence received. It will also hold a number of evidence sessions on the proposals, including a session with the Minister in charge of the Bill.

The Committee looks forward to receiving your views on the Bill by Friday, 17 March 2023. You can share your thoughts here: yourviews.parliament.scot/dplr/trusts-succession-bill-consultation