Wilson & Fish is a specialist executry (probate) law firm based in Scotland. Our solicitors have a wealth of experience in assisting clients in winding up estates. If you have been named as an executor, it is ultimately your choice as to whether you seek legal advice in fulfilling your duties and distributing the estate. Here, we outline the factors which you might like to consider in making this decision.
Some estates Will involve complicated legal issues. Legal advice will be particularly useful in the following cases:
The deceased died without leaving a Will: If you are dealing with an intestate estate, you will need to apply the relevant laws to ascertain who should inherit the deceased’s assets. It is not the case that the surviving spouse or civil partner will automatically inherit everything. It should be noted, however, that even if the deceased left a Will, the deceased’s spouse/ civil partner and children might have rights against the estate which apply regardless of the content of the Will. Using a solicitor to wind up the estate will ensure that you are not subject to any claims from those who should have inherited from the estate.
The deceased was bankrupt: An estate is considered insolvent if the deceased’s assets are insufficient to pay their debts and funeral expenses. We understand that dealing with such an estate can be particularly distressing, and our solicitors can advise as to the legal priority of the debts.
The estate includes overseas property/ assets: Any estate with foreign elements will require specialist legal advice. Your executry lawyer at Wilson + Fish will advise on whether and how to include such assets in inheritance tax calculations and to which beneficiaries these should be distributed.
However, no two estates are the same, and it can be difficult to predict how complicated the winding up process will be. It is also worth considering that, in all cases, the executors are personally liable if they do not distribute the estate properly or pay insufficient inheritance tax. Your local Sheriff Clerk's office will be able to assist with obtaining confirmation for small estates (those up to £36,000), but otherwise, the executors must complete each stage of the winding up process independently.
Executry Solicitors Scotland
As well as providing peace of mind that the legal and tax issues surrounding the estate will be dealt with by experienced solicitors, using a solicitor to wind up the estate will also allow you to focus on more personal matters. We are very much aware that those seeking the services of an executry practice will be grieving for a loved one. Our lawyers take great care in easing the burden on the deceased's family and friends during a difficult time.
Our solicitors always endeavour to provide a personal, tailored service. Reflecting on the information we have provided here, you may wish to be involved in some steps of the winding up process, but leave other matters to your solicitor. We will work with you to determine how best our solicitors can assist you.
Contact our Executry & Probate Lawyers Glasgow, Scotland
If you would like to discuss the winding up process, or any other executry matters, with one of our expert solicitors, please contact us by telephone 0141 222 7951 or fill in our online enquiry form.