I RECENTLY spoke on behalf of the Delegated Powers and Law Reform Committee as the convenor during the Stage 1 Debate of the Trusts and Succession (Scotland) Bill.

Issues like trusts are not considered the most exciting political topics, but this piece of legislation is extremely important because if enacted, it will be the most significant development in trust law for over a century.

Understandably then, the law in this area has not kept pace with how society has changed and developed.

This Bill implements the recommendations of the Scottish Law Commission and will update our law to make sure it is more relevant and can better meet the needs of our modern society.

The proposed reforms in Bill will focus on the management of trusts, including the powers and duties of trustees, powers of the court in trust matters, and trust administration. The Bill also covers succession law – particularly what happens when someone dies without leaving a will.

If passed by Parliament, the Bill would also implement a long-standing commitment to amend the order in which certain family members inherit a person’s money or property where they die without leaving a will.

Sadly, the issues people who had trusts with McClure Solicitors have faced following them going into administration can’t be retrospectively dealt with by this or any legislation, but the changes this Bill is proposing can prevent many more people from being out of pocket in the future.

I know from speaking with constituents affected by the McClure’s fiasco just how distressful the situation has been and just how little protection the current law offers those who’ve paid for trusts, which is why I strongly support this Bill and hope it is passed by Parliament in due course.