The death of a loved one is always a difficult time for the rest of the family. Immediately after the death, there are many decisions to be made and practicalities to consider. At McQueen Legal we are here to help with practical advice and to guide you through the process of winding up the deceased person’s financial affairs.
When someone dies, depending on the total value of their assets, usually we have to apply to the local Sheriff Court in order to obtain Confirmation (the English equivalent is known as Probate or Grant of Representation) of the estate so that we can deal with the administration of the estate.
- obtain information from the family of the deceased as to the extent of their assets;
- obtain the Will;
- obtain copies of the death certificate;
- notify all banks and other financial institutions of the death and obtain information about the value of all assets;
- if there is no Will, we petition the Sheriff Court to have an executor appointed; and
- in this case, we arrange a Bond of Caution (an insurance policy to indemnify the actings of the executor) and pay the premium;
- have the inventory signed by the executor and lodged (along with the Bond of Caution if no Will has been left) with the Sheriff Court.
- pay any inheritance tax and then the Court issues Confirmation.
- circulate Confirmation around the banks etc who will then release the assets to us.
- pay off any outstanding debts;
- distribute the funds to the beneficiaries either under the terms of the Will or if no Will has been left, under the Laws of Intestacy.
- if there is a house, either arrange for the title to be transferred into the name of a beneficiary or sold in the normal way.
Sometimes it is possible to wind up the estate without obtaining Confirmation and we would always advise you if this was the case. This is usually only where the amount of assets left is relatively small.
Each executry is different but with our many years of experience in this field, we can advise you clearly and helpfully on the process.