Executry Services Edinburgh & the Lothians

Executry Services Edinburgh & the Lothians

Providing clear and straightforward advice

If a family member or loved one has died, the prospect of sorting out their financial affairs can be a daunting prospect. The responsibility for dealing with matters rests with the Executor(s) who are the person(s) appointed in the Will to act as the administrator(s) of the estate. If there is no Will, application has to be made to the Sheriff Court who would then appoint an Executor. Often the Executor appoints a Solicitor to help them carry out their duties which makes the process more streamlined and stress free.

Stuart & Stuart are here to help

Regardless of whether a Will has been left or not, appointing Stuart & Stuart to assist brings the advantage of having the estate administered by an expert. We can provide as much or as little assistance as you need and if required can deal with the whole of the administration on your behalf.

The role of an Executor

If you are named as an Executor it can bring with it complicated and sometimes onerous duties when someone dies and often takes months to complete. It is important to understand the process because the Executor(s) is liable for any mistakes made during the course of winding up the estate.

Although not exhaustive, here is a summary of the responsibilities of an Executor:

  • In gathering all of the assets of the estate
  • Valuing the estate
  • Applying to the Court for Confirmation
  • Ensuring all debts are paid
  • Calculating and paying any inheritance tax
  • Arranging, if necessary interim funding to pay inheritance tax
  • Calculating and completing income tax returns and settling outstanding tax
  • Calculating and paying capital gains tax
  • Distributing the remainder of the estate in accordance with the Will
  • Preparing Estate Accounts and providing a copy to the beneficiaries

Some of these duties, such as inheritance tax payments, must be carried out within short time scales and it therefore makes sense to pass this to a professional executor such as Stuart & Stuart who are experienced in administering estates.

Dying without a Will

Dying without a Will means that the person has died ‘Intestate’ in which case the laws of intestacy govern the distribution of their estate. This clearly complicates matters for the family or potential beneficiaries and it is therefore becomes important to seek advice. Stuart and Stuart can advise family members or potential beneficiaries on the best way forward.

If the deceased had an Attorney

It is a common misconception that an Attorney can continue to act on behalf of a deceased person after their death. It is important to note that the responsibilities of an Attorney stop on the day of the grantors death. Therefore an Attorney no longer has access to the deceased person’s affairs including Bank and Building Society accounts

The responsibility on the date of death is passed onto the Executor of the estate if the individual has left a Will. Where there is no Will, the Court will appoint an Executor.

You can download our information leaflet and even share them with family and friends.

To speak to one of our Solicitors call 0131 222 9975

How much do you charge for Executry Services?

This depends on the amount of work involved and the complexity of the estate. However, our final fees for administering estates are passed to an independent auditor to check that the fees are a fair reflection of the work undertaken.

How long does it take to wind up an estate?

Again, this depends on the complexity of the estate however all estates, even simple estates, take a  minimum of 6 months before they can be wound up.

Why does a simple estate take so long to wind up?

This is the minimum period required by law in order to give any creditors time to make a claim on the estate for any outstanding debt.

I know there is Inheritance Tax to pay however there is no cash in the estate only the property which is valued at more than the IHT threshold. What should I do?

The Inland Revenue require IHT to be paid within 6 months of the death of an individual. It is not uncommon for us to have to arrange short term funding to pay the IHT bill within the required timescales. Ultimately if there is no available cash in the estate the property may have to be sold to repay the interim funding.

My sibling has been left out of the Will can they contest it?

Possibly, however this area of the law can be complex and therefore it is essential to take advice from a solicitor.

I found out, after my parents death, and during the estate being wound up that I had a sibling I Knew nothing about. They are not mentioned in the Will, are they entitled to inherit?

Again, this is a complex question – there are some instances where the sibling would be entitled to inherit even though they are not mentioned in the Will however advice should be sought on the specifics of the circumstances.

Fergus McMillan Solicitor Stuart & Stuart Edinburgh, Penicuik and Bonnyrigg
Stuart & Stuart solicitors Edinburgh-contact


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