Wright Johnston and Mackenzie Solicitors

Estate Administration

Taking matters forward when the time comes.

When coping with a bereavement, it can be helpful to have some guidance in navigating the various procedures involved in dealing with an estate. There can be unexpected circumstances or complications which arise but we aim to ensure that the process goes as smoothly as possible for our clients.

The Executors are the people responsible for the administration of the estate. If the person who died has left a Will, the Executors will be named in it. Otherwise, those who are due to inherit the estate can apply to the court to be appointed. Executors have a range of responsibilities and duties to fulfil.

Thank you so much for your help and patience in dealing with my aunt's affairs. It made such a difference having someone nice to deal with and go over everything with me.

The first of these duties is to ascertain what assets (house, car, investments, savings) and liabilities (mortgage, debts, outstanding bills, credit card balances) the deceased had. It is also the Executors’ task to ensure that any Inheritance Tax due is reported and paid to HM Revenue and Customs.

Once any tax due has been paid, the Executor must provide an inventory of all of the estate assets to the Sheriff Court, which will issue a Certificate of Confirmation. This gives the Executor the authority to receive the estate assets and transfer them to the beneficiaries in line with the deceased's Will or the laws of intestacy (estates without Wills) in Scotland.

There are many steps to take along the way, such as payment of the funeral expenses, locating any missing beneficiaries, setting up possible trusts, handling any claims on the estate and considering the interests of all beneficiaries (including minor children). Some or more of these issues may arise and every case is unique.

Our team understand the sensitive nature of this work and our goal is to ensure that you are aware of the process. We aim to assist you with each step of the administration procedure and to go over any questions you may have. If you would like to know more, contact our dedicated Private Client team who would be pleased to assist you.