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How Long Does It Take to Wind Up an Estate in Scotland?

  • The Law Society of Scotland

The stress of losing a loved one can be exacerbated if beneficiaries feel that the process of winding up the estate seems long and drawn out. Here, our specialist executry solicitors provide guidance on how long it should take to wind up an estate and issues that will need to be negotiated as part of this process.

Experienced Executry Lawyers. Here to Help.

The amount of time that it will take to wind up an estate will depend on the nature and extent of the estate – for small estates the process can be reasonably straightforward, but for those that are more complex the time taken to administer the estate can be significantly longer.

Generally speaking, an estate will take at least six months to wind up. There are guidelines which must be followed when it comes to undertaking this process, and key amongst these provisions are rules relating to any unexpected creditors who may emerge once the administering of the estate is underway. There may be unpaid debts or outstanding bills that are not apparent on initial inspection of the estate – time must be taken before settling the state so that all debts can be paid off before the estate is distributed.

As with many legal issues, communication is fundamentally important in this regard. Our experienced executry solicitors will take the time to review the estate and provide you with a rough estimate as to how long the winding up process should take. We can provide you with an outline of what work will need to be carried out and how long it should take to complete each stage. Your lawyer will be able to identify potential issues that may arise, to give you a clear and straightforward idea about what to expect over the coming months.

What Factors Impact the Length of Time Taken to Wind Up an Estate?

Many factors can impact upon the length of time taken to wind up an estate. These include:

  • Any property that needs to be sold – if this is held overseas or in joint names it can create added complications
  • Prior rights and legal rights claims
  • Intestate estates – this means that the deceased died without leaving a Will in which case the Rules of Intestacy must be used to distribute assets
  • Inheritance Tax Valuations and Income Tax issues
  • Delays while third parties provide information – for example, collecting details from banks, insurance companies and HM Revenue & Customs
  • Claims by the Benefits Agency
  • Delays in obtaining Confirmation – an application for Confirmation must be made in the area where the deceased last resided, and the courts may be busier in some areas which can create delays
  • Locating beneficiaries
  • Any other joint or foreign assets

Expert Executry Solicitors Clarkston, Newton Mearns, Giffnock, Netherlee, Eaglesham, Carmunnock, Stewarton & Southside Glasgow

Our friendly, approachable and professional executry solicitors are here to help whatever your circumstance. Call us today on 0141 620 0800 or fill out our online enquiry form.

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Please note we are a firm of Scottish Solicitors helping clients across Scotland and cannot help you if you are based in England.