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The Executor of a will is the person named to administer a deceased person’s estate as stipulated in the Will. An Executor can be any person aged 18 or over. Appointing a solicitor to carry out these tasks will make the process less stressful for the deceased’s family.

The administration of an estate typically includes the following elements:

  • Checking funeral arrangements, and establishing whether there is a valid Will or whether the laws of intestacy apply.
  • Ascertaining the assets and liabilities of the estate and obtaining valuations if required; preparing an inventory of assets; drafting the application for Confirmation and associated Inheritance Tax Return; submitting drafts of all forms to the executors for approval; and preparing final versions for signature.
  • Where a full Inheritance Tax Return is required, submitting the necessary Forms to HM Revenue and Customs; raising or borrowing cash with which to pay inheritance tax if necessary; and paying any inheritance tax due.
  • Lodging the Application with the Sheriff Court and obtaining Confirmation.
  • Intimating Confirmation to the asset holders and collecting in the estate; and, where appropriate, negotiating the value of the estate with HM Revenue and Customs on behalf of the executors.
  • Paying the debts of the estate and, where appropriate, adjusting the inheritance tax liability; distributing the estate in accordance with the Will or the laws of intestacy; preparing executry accounts for approval by the executors; maintaining executry records; and generally attending to all work required to complete the administration of the estate.
  • Dealing with income tax and capital gains tax issues relating to the period of administration, including submission of tax returns if required, and provision of tax certificates to beneficiaries.
  • Legal and tax advice to the executors as and when required.


Remember that we will quote you a fixed price for this work.


Have you sadly had a bereavement in your family? Are you worried that the costs of obtaining Confirmation (probate) and sorting out your late relative’s affairs will escalate? Have you struggled to get a definitive quote?

We are specialists in the administration of deceased’s estates. We work only on the basis of fixed fees, agreed in advance. Our standard administration fees cover most circumstances.

When you first contact us we will have a discussion with you about what needs to be done. We do not charge for this service. We only charge if you decide to instruct us to carry out legal work. Sometimes you do not need legal services and we will tell you if we think that is the case.

If the deceased’s affairs are very simple, e.g. a house and one or two bank accounts, we offer a discounted fixed fee. Sometimes a deceased’s affairs are more complex than normal, e.g. they do not have a Will or the Will is defective. In that case, we would have to charge a supplement to cover the extra work. However, we will give you a fixed price for that as well and will only proceed with your permission.

We are fully open and able to operate a normal service by phone, internet and video call during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Contact Janice Nisbet at janice@fergussonlaw.com or by telephone 0131 556 4044 (ext 1) and mobile 07827 329796, or use our website enquiry facility.

Testimonials for our Executries service

Thank you sincerely for your professional service provided to one of my clients this last week or so. My clients have been patiently waiting to purchase a property to which was in the process of probate following a passing.

I introduced Janice to provide independent advice on this for my clients. Within 24 hours Janice had confirmed the root of the lengthy delays the family had been having in relation to the will and further reached out to the estate solicitors confirming the status. As it transpires the property is not in a position to be sold and may be some time away. Thanks to Janice my clients can now move on and broaden their search to find their new home in East Lothian. This type of professionalism and commitment to the highest level of customer’s satisfaction has to be acknowledged. Thank you again Janice!

Marie Johnstone, Wilson Property Group

Thank you Janice for all the hard work and your help in dealing with our Mother’s Estate. At times this has been very emotive and difficult for us all. Thank you for your guidance and support.

Alison, Jonathan, Kieron and Sharon