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JGM, Solicitor
Category: Scots Law
Satisfied Customers: 12086
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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My mother died two years ago. Her estate comes under scottish

Customer Question

My mother died two years ago. Her estate comes under scottish law. My brother and I are the sole executors and joint beneficiaries. Confirmation has been received.
The solicitor has accepted my brother's claim re including his personal storage to come out of the estate. I asked the solicitor why he has included this claim when he told me himself it is not legal under scottish estate law. He has not answered. What can I do to ensure that the solicitor sticks to the law?
My brother who is the other executor has been sent the draft of the draft cash account in the beginning of July 2013 but has not responded. Is there a time limit on the distributionh of the estate. People are waiting to be paid ?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Scots Law
Expert:  JGM replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for your question.

It is for the executors to authorise payment of debts to the estate.

Can you tell me a bit more about this storage account?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

When my mother died her will was made known. This was that my brother and I shared half of everything including the house, furniture and items within. We made an inventory and agreed which items were his and which were mine.

He then took all his items (and some of the items which had been agreed as mine) straight away, from the house and put them into storage. I was not at the house when he did this.



I left mine in the house until the house was sold two years later. I looked after the house for two years paying the rent, gardening, water, electricity, and gas etc to ensure the house was kept in good order until it was sold. My brother did not help with any of these expenses.


My brother and I both live abroad.


My solicitor told me that the bills I incurred could be returned to me under Scottish estate law, as the bills were for keeping the estate (her house and garden) in good order until it was sold. Half the house was owned by a housing society.


I asked the solicitor to get an agreement from my brother that my brother would agree to my expenses incurred for the estate being paid back to me when the final accounting was done. The solicitor received such an agreement via email. At the same time my brother asked to have his storage charges also included.


The solicitor told me at that time that my brother’s request for his personal storage items could not be included as this expense was not anything to do with the estate and was not legal.

My brother chose to remove his items from the house and put them into storage. I did not do the same thing but waited until the house was sold before I removed the items that had been agreed as mine.


This is why I have asked the solicitor, why he had included this request from my brother in this draft account of the expenses of the estate.


This draft account was sent to my brother despite my disagreement with it at the beginning of July 2013. Since then there has been no response from my brother or the solicitor. I am at a loss at to how to get this brought to a final end.

Expert:  JGM replied 4 years ago.
What the solicitor told you originally, ie, that the storage account could not be paid from the estate is correct.

Therefore, you should be asking the solicitor why he has now included it in the account. He should simply be telling your brother that it can't. However, if there is disagreement between you and your brother about this then the estate cannot be finalised until that disagreement is resolved, either by compromise or by a court. You don't want to get involved in the latter as the costs would deplete the value of the estate.

If your brother doesn't back down and there is no compromise then you have deadlock. Firstly, though, find out why the estate account has had this cost put in as it should never have been put there to start with.