A bereavement is a difficult and challenging time for any family. The formalities of settling a loved one’s estate need not add further distress to an already emotional time. At Miller Samuel Hill Brown, our executry solicitors will guide you through the steps involved in winding up a loved one’s estate from start to finish. We will manage the paperwork and legal proceedings on your behalf and discuss at convenient times the options available to you along the way and the various legal requirements involved in the executry process.
After the passing of a loved one, their estate will fall to the executor for distribution. In Scotland, an executor must be appointed before decisions can be taken regarding the winding up and possible distribution of the estate.
Identifying whether your loved one left a Will is an important first step in the executry process. A Will commonly appoints a spouse or family member as an executor of the estate. Where the appointed executor is not a solicitor, it is advisable to seek legal advice to ensure appropriate administration of the estate. At Miller Samuel Hill Brown we have a highly experienced team who concentrate primarily on estate administration. Our executry solicitors will support and guide the executor in their duties and offer advice on best practice and the important legal formalities involved in the estate administration.
In circumstances where a loved one has passed away without formalising a Will, an application to the court must be made to appoint an executor. Our executry lawyers will prepare this application on your behalf and work closely with the spouse or family member who wishes to be appointed as executor through this process. Once an executor is identified or appointed, we will assist with preparing an inventory of your loved one’s assets to identify all property, bank accounts, shares, etc. Thereafter, we will apply for Confirmation (Probate) from the court to entrust the executor with the legal authority to ingather the estate.
Once the estate is ingathered, the distributing of assets can begin either in accordance with the terms of the Will or the intestacy laws of succession in Scotland (where no Will was left). Our executry lawyers can assist in the process of apportionment and advise on the legal duties incumbent on the executor, including payment of outstanding debts in connection with the estate, funeral costs, payment of any tax including Inheritance Tax, and payment of legacies and gifts.
Our solicitors understand that the death of a loved one is a difficult and stressful time and, as such, the settling of an estate should be managed with both sensitivity and efficiency to allow for the journey toward closure to begin. At Miller Samuel Hill Brown, we offer all-encompassing executry services including obtaining the death certificate, identifying the executor or applying to the court for the appointment of an executor, notifying banks and financial institutions of your loved one’s passing, identifying the beneficiaries and assisting in the apportionment of assets, preparing tax returns and completing the administration of the estate. We can also help with organising funerals and house clearances, if required. The sale of any property can also be handled by our highly experience conveyancing team, which allows the entire estate work to be handled under one roof. Our executry service can often be offered on a fixed fee basis, meaning that you will be aware from the outset what will be due and do not have the worry of rising administration costs during the process. We can offer an initial meeting free of charge to assess what work would be involved in the estate and will provide you with a fee quote at that stage.
The executry process can at times be challenging and complex and can involve responsibilities on an executor that can last for as long as 20 years following the date of death; our executry solicitors have years of experience delivering efficient and professional executry services and will be on hand to provide both reassurance and expertise at a challenging time for you and your family.