Drummond Miller have years of experience in guiding Executors in Scotland through all of the legal complexities that occur when winding up an Estate in Scotland. When a family member or friend passes away we understand that this is a deeply painful experience. During this emotional time it can be difficult to deal with administrative tasks.
Our Private Client team aim to make the process of winding up an estate straightforward for you and your family.
What is an Executry?
An executry is the legal term that is used to describe the deceased’s estate once it has been passed to the Executor for distribution. In Scotland it is required by law that an Executor is appointed.
How to appoint an Executor in Scotland
An Executor can either be appointed in a will or by the court. The Executor can be a family member or a solicitor. It is common for a solicitor to be instructed to assist the appointed Executor to handle the estate of the person that has passed away.
In order to legally administer the estate of the deceased to the correct beneficiaries a Grant of Confirmation must be obtained from the court in Scotland. Those named in the will or the next of kin following the rules of intestacy (if there is no will in place) have the right to apply for Confirmation.
Those who are named in the Grant of Confirmation are legally responsible for distributing the estate of the person that has died.
What does an Executor do?
When named as an Executor in the will of a family member or close friend you are legally responsible for winding up their affairs after death. Generally an Executor of Estate will:
- Deal with the deceased’s Estate. Everything owned by a person is known as their estate. This can be made up of property, money, shares and possessions.
- Manage the deceased person’s assets until they are distributed to inheritors. This often involves deciding whether or not to sell estate or securities owned by the person that passed away.
- Sending the Death Certificate to organisations that hold money of the person that has died. Confirm the value of each account on the date of death. Make sure each account is frozen.
- Determine who inherits property. If a will has been left in place the Executor will read and decide who gets what.
- Sending and preparing documentation to the probate registry as well as HM Revenue and Customs.
- Manage the day to day. The Executor will need to inform credit card companies, bank accounts, utility companies and so forth of the death.
- Set up a bank account for the Estate. This account will hold the monies owed to the deceased.
- Pay continuing expenses using the estate funds. There may be a requirement to pay for utility bills, mortgage payments, insurance, etc.
- Pay debts. As Executor you must notify creditors of the death and administrate any further payments.
- Inheritance tax. Work out the amount of tax due and repay if necessary.
How Drummond Miller can help
It is common for Executors of an Estate to act without a Solicitor. If the Estate is complex, it is best to seek legal advice, a few examples of when to seek the advice of a Solicitor include:
- When the terms of the will left are unclear
- If part of the estate is being left to children under the age of 18
- If property or money has been left in a trust
- If any property or land in the estate are located abroad
- The deceased was a business owner
- If you think anyone is likely to dispute the will
It is our aim to maintain a good dialogue between the will Executor and the beneficiaries. Our team are on hand to ensure the winding up of the Estate is dealt with effectively and in a timely manner. To find out more information on all aspects of winding up an Estate in Edinburgh and throughout Scotland, contact our Solicitors today.