Executries (Probate) Lawyer Edinburgh
Family Law Edinburgh are highly experienced in all aspects of executry and estate administration. For advice and support, contact us today on 01313414990 or complete our online enquiry form.
When someone dies, it can be very difficult to deal with the paperwork and formalities that follow. Often, people do not know what to do or where to start. Family Law Edinburgh can help to elevate the stress and worry that family and friends may be feeling by acting as executor to wind up the individual's estate, pay any outstanding debts and distribute any remaining assets. Alternatively we can act on their executors behalf in relation to all or some of these tasks.
All deaths require to be registered and Family Law Edinburgh can assist you with this process. We can also assist with the funeral arrangements and our experts will deal with such matters respectfully and professionally.
After the death is registered, both the law and the procedures that follow are complex. Such procedures are also time-consuming with the average time to wind up an estate taking between six months and one year. To complicate matters further, the processes will differ slightly depending on whether the person who died, did so with or without having left a will.
Where There Is A Will
If a will has been left, the estate is considered 'testate'. In such circumstances, executor(s) are usually named in the will. If you have been appointed as an executor, under Scots Law, certain obligations are placed upon you. You have the responsibility of ascertaining the deceased's estate, paying any liabilities due by it and thereafter, distributing the assets to the beneficiaries.
Firstly, it is necessary to compile a list of the deceased's assets and debts at the date of death. This information is obtained by writing to asset holders and creditors, informing them of the death and requesting the current of the value of the assets and total debts. You need to establish the asset holder's procedures for selling/transferring the asset and establish if a Grant of Confirmation is required (sometimes referred to as "probate"). If so, an application for Confirmation must be prepared, which includes an inventory of the estate, signed by you as the executor and lodged with the Sheriff Court.
Confirmation is a legal document issued by the Sheriff Court giving the executor the authority to deal with deceased person's estate. This permission is known as 'a grant of probate' in England & Wales. Once granted, the executor can use the Confirmation to facilitate the release of the assets from their holders. When all the deceased's assets are gathered all estate liabilities require to be settled, before the remaining estate can be distributed in accordance with the will.
What If There Is No Will?
Where a person dies without leaving a will, the estate is considered 'intestate'. In such circumstances, with no executor being named in a will, an executor needs be appointed. To do this, an application is made to the Sheriff Court. A Bond of Caution, which is an insurance policy to cover any future claims on the estate, must also be produced. Once done, the process for dealing with the estate is practically the same as if a will had been left in the first instance: confirmation is sought; all assets gathered; debts paid; and finally, remaining assets are distributed.
Whether a will has been left or not, there are inheritance tax (IHT) issues to consider. All executry estates over a certain value must pay IHT, unless IHT exemptions can be claimed. Any IHT that is due must be paid within six months of the date of death. If this is not done, interest will start to accrue. IHT and its place within Scots executry law is complex, however the experts at Family Law Edinburgh will ensure your interests are looked after appropriately.
Specialist Executries (Probate) Lawyers Edinburgh
At Family Law Edinburgh our specialist lawyers can assist you through each step of the executry process. Contact us on 0131 516 7282 or complete our online enquiry form.
Contact out solicitors today on 01313414990 or complete our online enquiry form.