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If a loved one has passed away, you may need the advice and assistance of a team of experienced executry lawyers. We can help. Here at The McKinstry Company, our experienced solicitors will guide you through the executry process with efficiency and professionalism. We understand that this time may be challenging for you, and the burden of administering an estate can be onerous. As a result, we strive to take on as much of the practical work as possible for you to help relieve some of the stress you are experiencing at this time.

We can assist you where the deceased left a Will or where they died intestate (without a Will). To discuss your specific circumstances with a member of our team, contact us today by calling 01292 281 711 or complete our online enquiry form, and we will get back to you right away.

What is Executry in Scotland?

Executry is the legal term used to describe the process of administering the estate of a deceased person in Scotland. In order for the estate to be distributed, an executor must be appointed either in the Will of the deceased or appointed by the court.

The executry process can be complicated, and while the executor may be a friend or family member, a solicitor may also be appointed as an executor. If the executor is not a solicitor, you may instruct a solicitor to assist with the executry process.

Dealing with a Deceased’s Estate in Scotland

There are many steps involved in dealing with the estate of a deceased person in Scotland. We have set out the main stages below.

Valuing the Estate

Initially, you will need to get an idea of how much the estate might be worth. Estates worth less than £36,000 are deemed to be small estates and are generally less complicated to deal with.

The executor should make a list of all the assets that make up the estate, referred to as the ‘inventory’. Once you have an inventory of the estate, the executor can then apply for confirmation.

Paying Debts and Tax

During the valuation process, it may become apparent that there are certain debts that the estate is liable for. This may include things such as energy bills, mobile phone bills or mortgage payments. The executor will need to get in contact with each of these parties, known as creditors, to inform them of the death and obtain a final balance. The executor should keep a note of any debts due to be paid out of the estate.

Paying Inheritance Tax and Filling in Tax Forms

Certain estates will not be required to pay inheritance tax. However, even when the estate is not liable for inheritance tax, you may still need to complete the relevant tax forms.

If an estate is worth less than £36,000, the sheriff clerk can advise you as to whether you need to complete a tax form for HMRC. There are several reasons you may need to complete the form, including where the deceased gave away a significant amount of money or assets in the seven years preceding their death.

Obtaining Confirmation

Confirmation is a court document which allows the executor to administer the estate. Confirmation confirms the legal authority of the executor, and copies of the confirmation document are used to prove that the executor is legally authorised to ingather the estate. To apply for confirmation, the executor will need to complete two forms:

  • The ‘inventory’ form C1
  • Form C5 or IHT400

These forms can be challenging to complete on your own, and you may wish to instruct a professional solicitor to help you. A solicitor could also check that you have completed the forms correctly, rather than acting as an executor if you are concerned about costs.

After You Have Obtained Confirmation

After the executor has obtained a certificate of confirmation, they can ‘ingather’ the assets and begin to distribute the estate. The executor may only distribute the estate six months after the death, to allow time for any debts to become apparent. If you need to sell a property, you will need to instruct the services of a solicitor.

Contact The McKinstry Company Expert Executry Solicitors, Ayrshire & Dumfries and Galloway

If you need advice or assistance regarding assistance with the executry process, contact us today. Our empathetic and understanding solicitors will be able to assist you and advise on your specific circumstances. To get in touch, please call 01292 281 711 or contact our experts via our online enquiry form. We look forward to hearing from you.

Thiona McQuiston Partner View Thiona's Profile

Thiona is Head of our Private Client Department where she is involved in all aspects of property, asset protection, Powers of Attorney, Guardianship, Wills and winding up estates.  

Having joined TMC almost three decades ago in a support role, Thiona went on to graduate with a Bachelor of Law from the University of Strathclyde in 1999.  When embarking upon her Law degree, she was told by the late Professor Sinclair “My dear, you have the University of Life” and that as a bedrock equips Thiona to advise clients on the aspects of their affairs in which she is involved.

Thiona enjoys walking, yoga, travel and spending time with her husband and family, including her dog Molly.

Debbie Dunlop Partner View Debbie's Profile

Based in our Girvan office, Debbie is a Partner who is highly experienced in Private Client work, particularly in the agricultural and farming sectors. She used to enjoy travelling the world, but now married to a farmer, she spends her weekends in wellies, feeding cattle or on the back of a quad bike. Debbie is also a member of the Agricultural Law Association.

Having lived in Rome for a number of years, Debbie also studied Law at the Université d’Auvergne in Clermont-Ferrand – as a result, she is fluent in both Italian and French. She can also speak a bit of Spanish, thanks to travelling around various Central and South American countries, including walking the Inca trail. She has managed to convince her husband that the cattle in Argentina will be worth a look at some time soon!

A keen runner, Debbie has competed in 10Ks and half marathons, even completing the Rome Marathon. This now comes in handy during lambing time chasing after ewes.

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We are open by appointment but these will be restricted to executry and matrimonial clients. Social distancing measures will be in place and please ensure face coverings are worn when entering the office.