Accessing a Will in Scotland.

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Hibee
Posts: 216
Joined: Tue May 25, 2010 3:24 pm

Accessing a Will in Scotland.

Post by Hibee » Mon Nov 25, 2013 4:18 pm

Hi

I have been asked a question regarding what access there is to the Will of a deceased testator, and I realised that I don't know the whole picture.

Basically, who has a right to see the Will, and where, and when?

I'm guessing that the document eventually arrives at Register House. Is it then open to anyone to view, or do you have to demonstrate a connection to the deceased (and how)?

Thanks

Hibee
www.adams-of-adamsrow.com
Adam(s): Newton, Midlothian
Brock: Orkney/Leith
Bridges: Leith
Sweeney: Ireland/Leith
Brown: Edinburgh/Hamilton

carolineasb
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Re: Accessing a Will in Scotland.

Post by carolineasb » Mon Nov 25, 2013 8:31 pm

Hi Hibee,

When you say a Will, do you actually mean Confirmation of an Estate? And in what period of time are we talking about? And did the Deceased definitely leave a Will?

Confirmation is not mandatory in Scotland unless an Executor is asked for same or there is some reason that it is required e.g. sale/trarnsfer of heritable property or shares.

Regards

Carolineasb

Hibee
Posts: 216
Joined: Tue May 25, 2010 3:24 pm

Re: Accessing a Will in Scotland.

Post by Hibee » Mon Nov 25, 2013 8:50 pm

Hi carolineasb

The "deceased" is still alive, but wants to know, before finalising her Last Will and Testament, which of her relatives would be able to see it, and how easy it would be for them to do that.

Hibee
www.adams-of-adamsrow.com
Adam(s): Newton, Midlothian
Brock: Orkney/Leith
Bridges: Leith
Sweeney: Ireland/Leith
Brown: Edinburgh/Hamilton

Ina
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Re: Accessing a Will in Scotland.

Post by Ina » Tue Nov 26, 2013 1:40 am

When my mother died and I asked the lawyer for a copy of the will, I was told that the executor of the will had to give his permission for me to see it. My brother finally sent me a copy.

Ina

carolineasb
Posts: 121
Joined: Tue Jan 30, 2007 2:15 pm

Re: Accessing a Will in Scotland.

Post by carolineasb » Tue Nov 26, 2013 11:28 am

Hi again,

If Confirmation of an Estate is required, once it is issued then my understanding is that it is public record and anyone can ask for a copy from the appropriate place which will likely be a Sheriff Court, Commissary Office in Edinburgh or National Archives/Records in Edinburgh depending upon what point in time the person asks for the copy and paying the required fee from the table of fees. Often Confirmation is not applied for until many months, if not years, after the deceased has passed away. This usually, not always, happens when heritable property is to be sold and it is found that transfers were not done at the time of death.

If the Will is registered, either in a Sheriff Court (very very rare now) or at the Books of Council and Session in Edinburgh (not rare but not common either), I'm not sure if it is public record or not and you would need to check up on that with them.

If neither of the above is required, then it is likely that no-one else will ever know the terms apart from the Deceased, the Witness, the Solicitor (if prepared by one), the Executor(s) and those receiving a bequest, unless someone passes on the details.

Regards,

Carolineasb

Hibee
Posts: 216
Joined: Tue May 25, 2010 3:24 pm

Re: Accessing a Will in Scotland.

Post by Hibee » Tue Nov 26, 2013 1:12 pm

Thanks very much, Caroline and Ina.

Hibee
www.adams-of-adamsrow.com
Adam(s): Newton, Midlothian
Brock: Orkney/Leith
Bridges: Leith
Sweeney: Ireland/Leith
Brown: Edinburgh/Hamilton

eilthireach
Posts: 41
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2005 11:41 pm
Location: Arizona (ex-Edinburgh)

Re: Accessing a Will in Scotland.

Post by eilthireach » Wed Nov 27, 2013 1:09 am

The National Archives of Scotland (National Records of Scotland) (http://www.nas.gov.uk/guides/wills.asp) page shows what wills are available and where. For wills less than 10 years old it refers you to the Commissary Department at Edinburgh Sheriff Court in Chambers Street, but doesn't give details about how easily they might be accessed there.

arthurk
Posts: 63
Joined: Fri Jul 11, 2008 7:19 pm
Location: Cheshire

Re: Accessing a Will in Scotland.

Post by arthurk » Wed Nov 27, 2013 5:21 pm

I've successfully obtained a copy of a recent will (<10 years old) from the Edinburgh Sheriff Court, but bear in mind (a) it's quite expensive (£16?) and even more if you want a copy of the confirmation as well as the will; (b) unless it's a really unusual name they will ask for the full name, address and exact date of death, which might involve paying for the death certificate as well. I understand the local Sheriff Courts can also provide copies, but possibly not for all of the last 10 years.

As I'm not very familiar with the Scottish system I tend to ring up and check the procedure each time I need something like this - and then forget again afterwards :lol:

Arthur
Kennedy (PER > LKS > ARM > England); Campbell, Rutherford, McDonald, Sinclair (all PER)
Wilson, Millar (RFW & LKS); Duncan (LKS); Hastings (KKD) (all > WRY)

carolineasb
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Joined: Tue Jan 30, 2007 2:15 pm

Re: Accessing a Will in Scotland.

Post by carolineasb » Wed Nov 27, 2013 10:14 pm

The fees applicable are usually published on the Scottish Court Service website and it may also give further guidance regarding obtaining copies.

It is my understanding that all Confirmations are available from any Sheriff Court up to c.10 years ago.

Hibee
Posts: 216
Joined: Tue May 25, 2010 3:24 pm

Re: Accessing a Will in Scotland.

Post by Hibee » Fri Nov 29, 2013 8:31 pm

Thanks, everybody.

Hibee
www.adams-of-adamsrow.com
Adam(s): Newton, Midlothian
Brock: Orkney/Leith
Bridges: Leith
Sweeney: Ireland/Leith
Brown: Edinburgh/Hamilton

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