We have considerable expertise built up over many years in dealing with bereavement and the consequent administration of the estate of the deceased.
Our staff know how to deal with the bereaved sympathetically and we can help relatives with the emotional and financial consequences following
the death of a loved one. To talk to a member of staff please contact us by phone, email.
Further details of how can we help
We can guide you through the legal procedures from start to finish. An estate may be “testate” where the deceased left a Will, or “intestate” if there is no Will. Sometimes the deceased may have left instructions for the distribution of his/her estate in a form which does not quite meet the legal criterion required to constitute a proper Will, however we can often have such writings “set up” by petitioning the Court to have the writing declared effective.
If there is no Will it will always be necessary to lodge a “Bond of Caution”, which is an Insurance Bond, with the Court except where the prior rights and legal rights of the spouse exhaust the estate. We can attend to this for you. Where necessary we will also Petition the Court to have an Executor appointed if there is no Will or if the Executor named in the Will has died etc
Once we have established the extent of the assets left by an individual we prepare an Inventory of Estate. This is a list of the deceased’s assets on the date of death. Thereafter we apply to whichever Court, has jurisdiction, for a “Grant of Confirmation”, which is roughly equivalent to “a Grant of Probate” in England. The document of Confirmation gives the Executor legal authority. We use it to ingather the estate or to sell or transfer title to property etc.
Thereafter we deal with the distribution of the estate according to the deceased’s Will or in accordance with the Law of Intestate Succession, as appropriate. The Law lays down rules which apply when there is no Will and stipulates which relatives are to inherit the estate.
Even when there is a Will, Spouses and children can claim legal rights in a person’s estate and these rights extend to both adopted and illegitimate children and the issue of predeceasing children.
Where a person dies intestate their Spouse will be entitled to “Prior Rights” as well as Legal Rights. The amount of these Prior Rights are laid down by Law.
We are also experienced in dealing with estate abroad/foreign estate. A person may have died leaving property in both Scotland and elsewhere such as the U.S.A, Canada or even Hong Kong. Often the Grant of Confirmation has to be “resealed” i.e. given authority to by the Court in the other country where property is owned.
Law Society of Scotland guidelines advise that estates should not be distributed until a period of 6 months has elapsed since the date of death. This is at least partly because the Department of Works and Pensions has 6 months within which it can reclaim any benefits overpaid to the deceased.
In larger estates, over £325,000, there may be Inheritance Tax payable, although it is worth noting that transfers between husband and wife are normally exempt. We are experienced in dealing with HMRC and will ensure that the correct tax is paid from the estate. There are also time limits within which tax must be paid.
We can administer estates anywhere in Scotland and are happy to undertake home visits where required. Mostly however we can deal with clients by letter, phone or email. Although fees and outlays for executry work depends on the value of the estate and the actual amount of work carried out, our charges are highly competitive. Our personnel have over 80 years combined experience in executries and we aim to offer an efficient and friendly service.