Lindsay Maclean, Head of Personal Law, answers some of the questions you might have about executries, and about being the executor of a will. The law is different in Scotland, compared to England, and Lindsay talks through the Scottish grant of confirmation process.
Video transcript: Executries – Helping You When a Will Has Been Left
Today we’re going to talk about some common questions people have when they’re acting as the executor of an estate.
How much will it cost me to get assistance with the executry?
Many executors wonder how much it’s going to cost them to ask for legal assistance with an executry. It won’t cost the executor anything personally as the costs will come from the deceased person’s assets.
How long will it take?
The executor has to allow six months to check if there are any debts on the estate. Some estates can often take longer than six months, particularly if there’s inheritance tax to pay, if there’s a property to sell, or if there are any other complex issues.
I don’t know much about the estate’s assets. Where do I start?
The first thing to do is look through the deceased person’s papers. You’d be looking for things like bank statements, insurance policies, any information about pensions… and then you can start making a list of what the assets are.
The other thing you’ll need to look at are the title deeds for the person’s house, to see if they owned the house. We can look at that for you. If you’re not sure where the title deeds are we can search for you or we can look in the land register for you.
Do I need a grant of probate?
Probate is the English term for dealing with a person’s estate. In Scotland we have a process called a grant of confirmation: an application that you make to the Sheriff Court, and it will include a list of the person’s assets. Whether you need confirmation will depend on the person’s assets.
If the will is held with a firm of solicitors, do I have to use them to help with the executry?
You don’t have to use that firm of solicitors to help you with the executry. You can choose your own firm if you wish to.
I’m the executor – is it going to be a lot of work for me?
Many executors will wonder if it’s going to be a lot of work for them to deal with the estate. It can be, but you can choose to instruct a solicitor to help you with some, or all, of the work. We will talk to you to find out how much you want to do yourself and how much you would like us to do for you.
Contact us about being the executor of a will
At Gibson Kerr, our Personal Law Solicitors in Edinburgh and Glasgow can help you with your executry. If you would like to arrange a meeting, or have any questions about the process, please do not hesitate to contact us.