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If someone close to you has passed away, you may not only have emotional stress but suffer from financial pressure too. The amount of time that it might take to receive an inheritance from someone’s estate after they have passed away can vary greatly and will depend on several factors. Here, we look at some of the things which may affect how long it might take to wind up an estate and receive any inheritance you are expecting. 

How long can I expect it to take to receive inheritance? 

We understand that many will be looking for a rough guide or straightforward answer. In short, it will take anything from six months up to 18 months to wind up an estate that is based in Scotland. 

Even for small estates where the deceased’s assets were relatively straightforward, you should expect the process to take at least six months. When you meet with your solicitor, they will review the paperwork and may be able to give you a rough estimate of how long it will take to wind up the estate in question, but this may be affected by unforeseen circumstances or anomalies in the estate. 

Why does it take so long to wind up an estate and distribute inheritance money? 

There are very specific guidelines that executors must follow to ensure that the estate is wound up and distributed correctly. In particular, there are rules which protect the creditors of the deceased, and creditors may emerge throughout the process of administering the estate. 

If the deceased had unpaid debts these may not be apparent at first and as a result, it is essential that executors take the time to ensure all debts have been paid before beginning to distribute the estate to beneficiaries. 

What types of complications can delay winding up of an estate? 

There are many complications that may delay distributing inheritance money to beneficiaries. 

The type of property which makes up the estate

Where the deceased owned a property or several properties, these may need to be sold before the estate can be administered properly. The conveyancing process can take some time, and this can take weeks or even months to complete.

Legal rights claims

If the deceased had a spouse, civil partner or any children who are not named in their Will, they may bring a legal rights claim against the estate. Such claims can take time as the value of the claim can be complex, and as a result may delay the winding up process. 

These are just some of the matters which can contribute to delays in receiving any inheritance you are due. Generally, we would advise that you do not have unrealistic expectations about receiving inheritance payments. Unexpected delays can occur at any time, even in what seems like the most straightforward estate. 

"I used Wilson and Fish to get Confirmation for my late fathers estate. They provided a friendly and efficient service. Good communication throughout the process and everything clearly explained. I would happily recommend Wilson and Fish. Thanks to Donna for making it so simple."

- Gavin Laird, Scotland, December 2019 5stars

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Our specialist executry solicitors in Glasgow, Scotland, can help you to wind up the estate of a loved one in Scotland quickly and effectively. We regularly help clients throughout Scotland including Ayrshire, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Dundee, Paisley, East Kilbride and Stirling.

If you are an executor of an estate in Scotland and looking to obtain Confirmation and to wind up the estate, contact our lawyers for a quote on 0141 222 7951 or complete our online contact form.


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