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What happens when a solicitor is an executor of a Will?

What happens when a solicitor is an executor of a Will?

For many people, appointing a solicitor as the executor of an estate makes sense. Perhaps there is no one close to them willing or able to act, or they may have a particularly complex estate. Appointing a solicitor to act as an executor can also relieve much of the emotional stress from those closest to the deceased at a particularly challenging time. So what happens when a solicitor is the executor of your loved one’s estate, or you are a joint executor along with a solicitor?

A solicitor has been named as an executor in my loved one’s Will; what happens after they pass away? 

After the person has passed away, you must contact the solicitor who is the executor of the estate to inform them. Typically, the Will will set out both the solicitor’s name and firm, just in case the solicitor moves firm, leaves practice for any reason, or also passes away. In this circumstance, you can work with another solicitor from the firm mentioned in the Will. 

Your solicitor will then arrange to discuss the Will and what happens next with you. Where several executors have been appointed, including a solicitor, you may discuss who will do what in relation to the winding up of the estate. 

For example, much of the work involved in winding up an estate is not complex. Still, it can be time consuming, doing things such as speaking to utility companies or closing down social media accounts. To reduce the solicitor’s fees, you may wish to handle some of this yourself. 

The solicitor will, however, take on the more complex matters such as:

  • Ingathering the estate
  • Obtaining copies of the death certificate
  • Applying for Confirmation
  • Inheritance tax matters
  • Dealing with overseas assets and bank accounts
  • Dealing with outstanding debts and creditors

This list is not exhaustive, and the solicitor will discuss all of the matters to be dealt with as part of the executry process in your specific case. 

Do I have to use the solicitor appointed as the executor in the Will to carry out the executry work?

Often, if a solicitor is appointed as an executor, they will likely want to carry out the executry work. If this is the case, you might feel you have to accept, but there are options available. Changing an executor of a Will after death is possible in Scotland

If you are joint executor with the solicitor

In this circumstance, you can ask the solicitor to resign with a formal letter of resignation.

If the solicitor is the sole executor

If the solicitor is the sole executor of the Will, you (or someone else) can assume the role of executor, and the solicitor can thereafter resign. This is because another executor must be appointed before the solicitor can resign.

Who pays for a solicitor’s fees to administer the estate? 

The solicitor’s fees for acting as an executor will be paid out of the estate. The amount you can expect to pay will depend on the size and complexity of the estate. You can read more about our fee policy and how much you can expect to pay here

Request a Callback from our Expert Executry Probate Solicitors Glasgow, Scotland

Our specialist executry solicitors in Glasgow, Scotland, can help you to wind up the estate of a loved one quickly and effectively. Based in Glasgow, our team can assist 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.