Claim Now

To ensure we give you the most tailored advice regarding your data breach enquiry, we kindly request that you complete our specialised enquiry form. You can access the form
by clicking on the following button: Click here

Click here to return to the previous window

Who can deal with a deceased person’s estate?

When someone dies without a Will (known as dying intestate), it is a common misconception that the surviving spouse or another family member can simply deal with all estate matters. However, this is not the case. An Executor has to be appointed. This is the case particularly where the assets which make up the estate are of high value or, indeed, if there is property involved. It is also the case where there is a claim to be dealt with on behalf of the estate.

If the deceased has made a Will, the Executors are easily identified as they are narrated in the Will. However, if there is no Will, a Court process has to be undertaken in order to have an Executor appointed. There is a particular hierarchy set out in law as to who can be appointed as Executor.

Estate claims

If there is a claim which requires to be advanced on behalf of the estate, an Executor will require to be appointed. In order to raise any Court action, an Executor must have been appointed by either (i) a Will or (ii) the Court.


If a Court order is to be granted and any claim raised does not settle, you will also require to obtain Confirmation (the Scottish version of probate). You do not need Confirmation to raise a claim but you do to obtain a Court order.

Confirmation provides the Executor with the authority to deal with a deceased person’s assets and to administer and distribute the estate according to law. The process for obtaining Confirmation again involves an application to Court.
When claims are being dealt with on behalf of estates, the importance of having an Executor appointed cannot be underestimated.

Of course, the process of having an Executor appointed by the Court can be avoided if you have a Will in place. We would encourage everyone to have a Will in order to ensure that their affairs are in order and to avoid the family left behind having to become involved in additional legal procedure.

Should you wish to make a Will or discuss the benefits of having one in place, please do not hesitate to contact our Private Client team who will be happy to assist you.

Ailidh Ballantyne, Head of Private Client

Injured through no fault of your own?
Call us on
To see how much you could claim
Compensation Specialists
Our offices and meeting places
Talk to Thompsons
Claim Now