Executry services in Scotland

Grandmother and granddaughter holding hands

Provided in partnership with Co-op Legal Services & Brodies LLP.

The executry process (also known as probate) is the process of winding up someone's affairs after they have died. This includes selling or transferring their assets, settling outstanding debts and distributing everything that's left to those entitled to inherit it.

To offer executry (or probate) services to Co-op Members and clients across Scotland, we have partnered with specialist Scottish law firm, Brodies LLP, to provide quality services when you need them most.

Executry services in Scotland

At Co-op Legal Services, we help and support thousands of bereaved individuals and families every year, many of whom come to us from Co-op Funeralcare.

We have partnered with Scottish law firm, Brodies LLP, who are specialists in the executry process, deliver outstanding client service and ease the practical burden for bereaved families at what is often a difficult time.

Brodies LLP is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) under registration number 650996.

How does the executry process work?

When winding up the affairs of someone who has died, a process called executry may be required (which you may also hear being referred to as probate or estate administration). This is because in order to sell or transfer certain assets (such as the deceased's home, money and personal possessions) you may be asked by institutions to provide a legal document called "confirmation."

This document is central to the executry process. The way in which you apply for confirmation and carry out the executry process will vary depending on the size of the estate and whether or not the deceased left a will.

Estates that have a total value of £36,000 or less are classed as 'small estates' while estates worth more than this are classed as 'large estates.'

Did the deceased leave a will?

If the deceased didn't leave a will then it may be necessary to get what's called a 'bond of caution' before you're able to apply for confirmation. This is essentially a guarantee that the estate will be administered in the correct way, for the benefit of any creditors and beneficiaries.

For large estates with no will, then in addition to the bond of caution, someone will need to formally apply to be appointed as the executor of the estate before any work could begin.

If the deceased left a will which is legally valid under Scottish law, then the process is slightly more straight-forward. The person named as the executor in the will can make an application for confirmation, as set out below.

Applying for confirmation

If you are the person responsible for dealing with the deceased's property and assets, and you have been advised that confirmation is required, then you will need to make an application to the Sheriff Court for this. You will need to complete a number of forms which outline what is in the deceased's estate, the value of this and any Inheritance Tax liability. The forms will be different depending on whether it's a small estate or a large estate.

Once the confirmation has been received, this grants the named person with the necessary legal authority to administer the deceased person's estate. This includes selling or transferring their assets, settling outstanding debts and distributing their estate in line with inheritance laws and the terms of the will (if there is one).

There is a lot of complex legal and administrative work that needs to be carried out during an executry, and the person responsible for carrying out this work can be held personally liable by the court for any mistakes made. If you are unsure of anything at all, then it's important to get professional legal advice.