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JGM, Solicitor
Category: Scots Law
Satisfied Customers: 11028
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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My mother died in March 2013. I eventually was emailed a scanned

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My mother died in March 2013. I eventually was emailed a scanned copy of her will which she left her house to my sister and brother in law. two thirds of remaining estate to my sister and one third to me. My sister is one of the executers along with my late mother's solicitor. I still do not know what my share of the estate is. The last communication I had from the solicitor on October 21st was to say they were now ingathering the accounts/shares etc and it would be 9-10 weeks before that would be completed. This is Scottish LAw. Firstly, as a benificiary should I not be told an approximate ammount. Secondly why do you think it has taken so long. And thirdly, what rights do I exactly have as a beneficiary. Thank you in anticipation. Lorna Firth. PS I live in Cyprus
Thank you for your question.

The answers to your questions are as follows:

1. There is no legal requirement for an executor to tell a beneficiary what their share of an estate is, that apart from the executors will not necessarily know themselves until later on in the administration of the estate.

2. If your mother died in March then on the face of it there has been no undue delay in the administration of her estate. There are several stages that the executors have to go through: writing to all those holding funds and other property, preparing an inventory of the estate, obtaining valuations where necessary, lodging the inventory with the court, obtaining Confirmation to the estate, exhibiting Confirmation to all those holding funds, ingathering the estate, preparing a final account and paying the beneficiaries. The average amount of time to wind up an estate in Scotland is a year, so your mother's executors are well within that average.

3. As a beneficiary you have a right to receive your bequest under the will which in this case is one third of the estate excluding heritage. You have no right to a share in the house. Your legal rights are for a share of a third of moveable estate along with siblings but in this instance the bequest you have been left exceeds your legal rights under the Succession (Scotland) Act 1964 and you can't claim both. You haveno further rights as a beneficiary.

Happy to discuss further.

I hope this helps. Please remember to leave a positive rating so that I am credited for my time.
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for that. Very helpful. I guess one of my worries, living a long way away, is that my sister ( who hasn't spoken to me for 10 years and hates my guts basically) and the solicitor ( who she is friendly with) try to cheat me.