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Unfortunately, it is impossible to give a “one size fits all” answer to this question. In straightforward cases, an estate can be wound up within six months. At Wilson & Fish Solicitors, our commitment to client care throughout this process sets us apart from other law firms. We will keep you informed at every stage and work hard to wind up your loved one’s estate as quickly as possible.

We treat every estate as urgent, regardless of the size and complexity. Contact us today to find out how we can help.

The length of time it takes to wind up an estate depends on various factors, such as:

  • Whether the deceased has left a Will. If they have done so, it should be relatively straightforward to appoint Executors. However, if there is no Will, the procedures to appoint appropriate Executors can be complex, depending on the value of the estate.
  • The deceased’s assets. Once the Executors are appointed, they will need to apply to a Sheriff Court for Confirmation, a document that allows the Executors to distribute the deceased’s assets. With the application, they will need to provide an inventory of all the deceased’s assets and liabilities. If the deceased owned a great deal of property, had investments or foreign assets, the executors will need to set aside a reasonable amount of time to create an accurate and detailed inventory.
  • Sheriff Court procedures. The procedures and forms required to obtain Confirmation vary depending on whether the estate was large (over £36,000) or small. Large estates generally require more time for court procedures and paperwork. The time it takes to wind up the estate will also be impacted by practical considerations, such as how quickly the Court can process the forms.
  • Inheritance Tax: Generally speaking, Inheritance Tax is payable on estates valued over £325,000. The rules on Inheritance Tax are complicated, and it can take time to calculate the tax payable and whether any exemptions apply. The Executors may need to borrow money to pay Inheritance Tax before Confirmation can be issued.

Elsewhere on our website, we have provided a list of all steps required to wind up an estate. The length of time required to complete each of these steps will depend on the complexity of the estate, the experience of the Executors and their ability to carry out the legal requirements.

The simplest way to ensure that the estate is wound up as quickly and efficiently as possible is to use a solicitor to obtain Confirmation. An expert Executry (Probate) Solicitor will have a detailed knowledge of the legal forms and procedures, and a wealth of experience in the practical procedures. They will be able to ensure that winding up is not delayed by administrative hurdles or errors in calculating Inheritance Tax or other liabilities, and will keep you informed throughout the process.

"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 5stars

Wilson & Fish Expert Executry and Probate Solicitors Glasgow, Scotland

Wilson & Fish is a niche firm specialising in Probate and Executry. If you have any questions regarding the winding up of an estate, contact us today on 0141 222 7951 or fill in our online enquiry form for advice from our Executry Solicitors. We are based in Glasgow and help clients throughout Scotland, including from Ayrshire, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Dundee, Paisley, East Kilbride and Stirling.


We are a niche firm specialising in Executry, Probate & Estate Administration.

"A thorough understanding of everything they dealt with."; "I cannot recommend this firm highly enough. They are excellent at what they do."  

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Our basis for charging fees is always made clear at the start. We do not charge on the value of the Estate. We can offer fixed fees in many cases.

"At the outset they clearly set out their fee structure which was very fair and proportionate".

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Take a look at what our Clients say about Wilson & Fish and our service.

"Knowledge of law excellent”; “excellent service”; “always happy to help”; “A thoroughly professional service from them from start to finish.” 

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