ExecutriesGuiding you through the complex legal maze of winding up an estate after death

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Guiding executors through the legal complexities of winding up an estate in Scotland.

Being named as an executor in the Will of a relative or close friend makes you legally responsible for winding up their affairs after their death.  But what exactly will this involve when the time comes?

Meeting the many obligations demanded of an executor under complex Scottish Law can be a daunting and stressful experience at an already difficult time.  That’s why many people choose to appoint an experienced solicitor to take care of all these executry duties for them – and who better to turn to in Edinburgh or Fife than Pagan Osborne?

As experts in all aspects of Scottish executry law, we can provide whatever support you may need to fulfil your duties as an executor, including:

  • Compiling a full inventory of the deceased person’s assets including savings, investments, insurances, property, vehicles, jewellery and any other items of value
  • Arrange for an independent valuation of these assets to calculate any liability to Inheritance Tax
  • Complete all necessary forms required by HM Revenue and Customs, and apply to the Sheriff Court for a Grant of Confirmation to release funds from the estate to settle funeral expenses, tax and other debts before the remainder can be distributed amongst the beneficiaries named in the Will 

Sounds complicated?  It can be – especially if there are any unexpected claims against the estate or if a Court appoints you as an executor in the absence of a valid Will.  The simple answer is to leave everything to the professionals at Pagan Osborne and give yourself one less thing to worry about.

  • Related Documents
  • FAQs
  • Q1 What is an Executor?
  • A1

    An Executor is the person appointed in terms of the Will or by the Court (where there is no Will).The Executors are the representatives of the deceased and are responsible for the winding up of the estate, usually assisted by a firm of solicitors.


  • Q2 What should I take if going to see a solicitor regarding an Executry?
  • A2

    To help us ascertain the size of the estate, it would be helpful if you bring the death certificate (original and preferably two copies at least), personal papers, bank statements, share certificates, passport, bus pass, TV licence, title deeds, and any other documents which you think might be important.

  • Q3 How long will the process of winding up an estate take?
  • A3

    Each estate is different and the time for administration varies according to the size and complexity of the estate. More complex estates inevitably take longer and estates with Inheritance Tax (if applicable - this depends on the size of the estate) and property to sell can lengthen the process. Your solicitor will be able to advise further on the likely length once they have an overview of the estate.

  • Q4 What if there is no Will?
  • A4

    The appropriate person will be appointed as Executor by the Court if necessary. There are detailed statutory rules governing what should happen and a solicitor can guide you through these. This situation is known as intestacy.

  • Q5 I am the Attorney for the deceased, can I administer the estate?
  • A5

    No. The Attorney’s powers cease immediately upon death.

  • Q6 I have been named as an Executor in the Will - what should I do?
  • A6

    Contact the legal firm who drew up the Will for further advice.


  • Q7 What is Probate?
  • A7

    Probate is the English equivalent of Scottish Confirmation.

  • Q8 What is Confirmation?
  • A8

    Confirmation is the legal document that gives authority to the Executors to deal with the estate and allows them to ingather the assets, settle all debts and distribute the estate according to the terms of the Will.


Not sure where to start? Why not just give us a call today on
0131 624 6820 for Edinburgh or 01334 475001 for Fife to discuss your needs.

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