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Tag: Succession and inheritance

Compensating unpaid domestic care in the testamentary context II: Possible approaches and potential objections

by Professor Alexandra Braun, Lord President Reid Chair of Law

In a previous blog entry, I examined whether current Scots law allows unpaid domestic carers to bring a claim against the estate of the person whom they have cared for. We saw that in Scotland, unpaid carers who are not in a contractual relationship with the care-recipient and who have not been provided for in the care-recipient’s will, only have a limited set of possible options and that the value of informal care is not currently recognised by way of a specific entitlement against the estate of the care-recipient. What is the situation elsewhere?

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Compensating unpaid domestic care in the testamentary context: An opportunity for Scots law

by Professor Alexandra Braun, Lord President Reid Chair of Law

According to the Scotland’s Carers research report published in 2015, and the latest update release of April 2022, approximately 700,000 people provide unpaid care and the value of such unpaid care in Scotland is estimated at over £36 billion a year. For comparison, in 2019 the NHS Scotland budget was £13.4 billion. Often such unpaid care is provided by family members, frequently but not always women,[1] and in some cases neighbours and friends. The assumption seems to be that domestic care services are intended to be gratuitous and are thus provided for free. Indeed, domestic care services are sometimes described as ‘labours of love’. But while domestic care services might well be motivated partly by love and affection or a sense of duty, this does not necessarily mean that they should not be compensated, especially since such services can be of significant economic and personal benefit to the care-recipient. My question then is can domestic unpaid care services be compensated on death of the care-recipient through a claim against their estate?

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