Appointing an Executor

Appointing an Executor

Appointing an Executor

If you have been asked to become Executor of a deceased person’s estate, and they didn’t leave a Will, we can help you today.

Appointing an Executor is an essential first step in the process of obtaining Confirmation in Scotland.

The legal procedures involved in administering an estate where there is no will can often seem confusing.

When a person passes away without leaving a will, their estate is considered “intestate”. In the absence of a will, the estate administration process becomes more complex, often requiring an insurance policy known as a bond of caution before the Executor can obtain Confirmation to the estate.

How to get appointed as Executor

In cases where there is no Executor appointed, the rightful person (or persons) will need to submit to the appropriate Sheriff Court a legal document called a Petition.

The Petition details the circumstances of the person who has died – their marital status, whether or not they had a child or children – as well as the details of the person who is applying to become appointed as Executor.

An executor appointed through a Petition is known as an “executor-dative.” An executor-dative is appointed by the court, not by the deceased, to administer the estate.

Who can be appointed as Executor

The majority of dative petitions are related to intestate estates, but there are cases where a Will has been left but a dative appointment is still necessary. The current practice of the Scottish Courts is that the person with a “beneficial interest in the estate” is typically appointed as the executor-dative.

Typically, the surviving spouse or civil partner assumes the role of Executor, however there are detailed rules set out in the Succession (Scotland) Act detailing the persons who can apply to become Executor – even if there’s a surviving spouse or civil partner. The order of entitlement to become Executor can be confusing. That’s why the advice of a solicitor well versed in the laws of Succession in Scotland can provide valuable assistance at this stage.

Why a Petition is needed

Perhaps the most common reason for appointing an Executor by way of Petition is to begin the process of obtaining Confirmation to the deceased’s estate in Scotland.

The first step in the Confirmation process is appointing an Executor, followed by obtaining the bond of caution, and then completing the Confirmation paperwork.

Another reason for appointing an Executor is if the deceased person was, at the time of their death, in the middle of a legal action against an insurance company or other institution.

In such circumstance, there must be someone formally appointed to continue that legal action on the deceased’s behalf. Often, the insurance company (or other institution) will insist on having sight of a legal document showing your authority to speak with them and continue the action. The Court’s response to the Petition (known as their “interlocutor”) is the document you will need to show.

“Weir Law guided me through a very difficult time with for a very fractured family. Couldn’t have done it without them. I have no hesitation on recommending  Weir Law. Massive Thanks.”

Lorraine Hughes, Vancouver


How we can help you

The process of being appointed as an executor can be overwhelming. The formalities and paperwork can add to the emotional burden.

However, our support available. Our team aims to provide a sympathetic and efficient service - alleviating the stress associated with estate administration.

Understanding and managing the complex legal aspects of administering intestate estates in Scotland requires patience and a thorough grasp of the procedures involved. With the assistance of our experienced experts and a compassionate approach to the situation, you can confidently navigate through this difficult period.

Use our Dative Petition service today

We are available to speak with you now on 0141 628 5544 or or send us an online enquiry and we can provide you with our fixed-fee and precise turn-around times for our dative Petition Service.

Weir Law Solicitors focus on Confirmation and Probate and in Scotland. With office locations in Glasgow, Edinburgh and throughout the country, we cover all locations throughout Scotland.

We also act for individuals living abroad who have been tasked with dealing with a Scottish deceased's estate. Whatever your query, contact us today on 0141 628 5544 or