Death and Estates (Executries)

When someone dies, no matter how expected it has been, the lives of those left behind are thrown into turmoil. The last thing you want to do is to think about finances and what other procedures need to be dealt with, but after only a very short time you find that banks want to freeze accounts, bills need paid and there may be items in the house or cash payments that are due to go to others nominated under a Will. Worse still there may have been no Will so suddenly rules are going to apply that you will probably never even have heard of. And whilst dealing with things is likely to be the last thing you feel like, part of you needs everything resolved and finalised to be able to close the door on that part of your life.

We at mhd have many years experience of dealing with the estates of those that have passed away, both leaving Wills and those dying without a Will (known as Intestacy). We can explain what needs to be done immediately following a death and we even arrange things such as the funeral or we can discuss making funds available through the bank if necessary. We will meet you when you feel able to deal with things and at that time explain the administration process including the timescale and approximate cost. We will complete the forms that are required, we can deal with HM Revenue and Customs for any tax that might arise, we will lodge and process all Court papers and will engather the cash or other items owned by the person and distribute these either under the terms of the Will or under intestacy rules. At all times we will communicate with you to keep you appraised of the position and highlight and help you make any decisions about the possibility of varying an estate (Deed of Family Arrangement/Deed of Variation). We pride ourselves in knowing that clients feel that we deal sympathetically and efficiently throughout.

The timescale of “winding up an estate” is almost impossible to predict as no two individual’s matters are similar and we have to deal with third parties over whom we have little control. An executor becomes personally responsible for any undiscovered debt that existed at death where the estate has been distributed within 6 months of death. It is likely therefore to take anything from 6 months to a year to finalise everything. Sometimes however, it can be shorter and sometimes longer.

For advice on all aspects of private client work contact Kieran Fitzpatrick or Donald Skinner-Reid.

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45 Queen Charlotte Street

Legal Post: LP-1, Leith
DX 550856, Leith

Tel: +44 (0) 131 555 0616
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