The loss of a loved one can be devastating and the thought of dealing with their Estate can seem overwhelming. We can help with this process bringing empathy and expertise to meet your unique needs at this difficult time.
We’ll guide you through the Executry process from initial investigation right through to completing the court documentation on your behalf, dealing with any tax issues and distributing the assets.
We deal with estates of all sizes and can provide expert advice on complex aspects including estates with:
- Inheritance tax implications
- Continuing businesses
- Agricultural estates
- Assets held across the world
- Contentious issues that may arise with beneficiaries
We’re happy to help with all aspects of dealing with the affairs of someone who has died but appreciate that you may wish to deal with some of it yourself.
It’s important to establish the extent of the estate including any assets, liabilities, pensions, gifts etc. This can be a time consuming and emotionally stressful but we’re available to help at any stage.
In most cases, before an Executor can deal with any estate assets ‘Confirmation’ (the Scottish equivalent to Probate) must be granted by the local Sheriff Court. The application process can be complicated; however we ensure the documents are correctly completed and submitted on your behalf.
It’s at this stage that any Inheritance Tax liability should be reported and paid. A short tax form can be submitted to Court with the Confirmation paperwork in some cases where no tax is due.
ESTATE INGATHERING & DISTRIBUTION
After receiving Confirmation we can then ingather the assets, settle expenses and distribute the estate under the terms of the Will. We’ll also ensure a final account is prepared to detail all of the transactions for your peace of mind.
Dying without a Will
If your loved one didn’t make a Will then it is important to establish how the estate will be distributed as well as who should be appointed as Executor.
This is determined by a legal formula and is largely dependent on who the surviving relatives are. We can review the family tree with you and advise who is entitled to inherit - it’s not always the person you would expect.
A cohabitee (someone living with the person who died) may also have a claim which we can advise on.
If someone is entitled to a share in the Estate, they can be appointed as an Executor. There are, however, ongoing duties and responsibilities that come with this which we can review with you.
Inheritance Tax on Death
If you’re an Executor, you may have to complete an Inheritance Tax return. This can sometimes be dealt with whilst applying for Confirmation however full reporting to HMRC is often required. As well as preparing and submitting any documentation, we’ll discuss a number of reliefs and exemptions that can reduce inheritance tax to ensure we help you minimise the amount of tax payable.
International/Cross Border Estates
We often help with International/Cross Border estates where assets are owned in different countries, particularly as it can be difficult to try to deal with the regulations in other countries. We will streamline the complexities and provide you with clarity and peace of mind.
Likewise, we can help in working with solicitors abroad where assets are held in Scotland and Confirmation is required here even if the deceased person was resident elsewhere.