What to Do When Someone Dies in Scotland

We Provide Tailored And Innovative Solutions.


The death of a loved one can be overwhelming – getting clear, professional advice at this time can prove invaluable to help you deal with the responsibilities associated with administering an estate.

The specialist executry solicitors at Miller Samuel Hill Brown can provide clear and sensitive advice on making arrangements after someone close to you has died. We can guide on matters including: 

  • Registering a death
  • Applying for confirmation
  • Preparing estate accounts
  • Preparing and advising on Inheritance Tax returns
  • Administering the estate and passing on assets to beneficiaries
  • Making post-death arrangements that will reduce Inheritance Tax liabilities
Registering the death

The death must be registered within eight days – while you can begin making plans for the funeral immediately, the funeral cannot take place until a Certification of the Registration of Death has been issued. It is advisable to register the death as soon as possible.

Only certain people can register the death. These people are:

  • Any relative of the deceased
  • Any person present at the death
  • The executor or legal representative
  • The occupier of the property where the death took place
  • Any person holding the information needed for registration if none of the above

The death should be registered with the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages. You should make an appointment with the Registrar's Office either for the district where the death took place or the district of the deceased's home address. You will need to take with you:

  • The medical certificate of death
  • Certificates or documents relating to pensions, benefits or allowances received by the deceased
  • The person’s NHS medical card, if available
  • Their birth and marriage or civil partnership certificates, if available
How is the deceased’s estate dealt with?

As soon as someone dies investigations should be undertaken to establish if they left a Will. As well as detailing how their money, property and possessions should be shared, the Will may include details about funeral plans so locating a Will as soon as possible is very important.

If you are not clear whether the person left a Will, you should speak to their solicitor and bank as it may have been placed with one of these for safe keeping. You may also want to check with other relatives or go through the deceased's personal papers.

The Will may also identify who should act as a guardian for any children or vulnerable relatives and one or more people as executors of their estate.

What is the role of the executor?

The executor is the person who acts as the deceased’s representative – they have several important responsibilities when it comes to the estate. These responsibilities include:

  • Making an inventory of the money, property and other items making up the estate
  • Paying Inheritance Tax
  • Obtaining confirmation – this is the legal document that gives the executor authority to make payments on behalf of the estate
  • In-gathering the estate – collecting the estate together, for example by closing bank accounts and taking payment from banks and insurance policies
  • Distributing the estate

Contact Our Executry Solicitors, Glasgow, Scotland

Our specialist executry lawyers can guide you through every step carefully and professionally if you have lost someone close to you. We have been trusted by generations of families to provide accurate, reliable legal advice whatever their requirements and circumstances.

Based in Glasgow City Centre, Miller Samuel Hill Brown’s executry solicitors also help clients in Glasgow's West End, South Side, Paisley and across Renfrewshire, Lanarkshire and Central Scotland. Let us help you. Please contact our specialist on 0141 221 1919 or fill in our online contact form.

Get in touch today

Please let us know your name.
Please enter a valid telephone number
Please let us know your email address.
Invalid Input
Invalid Input
Please let us know your message.

News & Insights

Read the latest insights from our team

Thursday, 16 May 2024
Welcome to our New Trainee Solicitor, Allan Millar
Read the full article
Thursday, 16 May 2024
The Devil’s in the Detail
Read the full article
Thursday, 16 May 2024
Key Considerations of Running a Family Business
Read the full article