Orkney Islands Council
Working together for a better Orkney

The Will

This legal document states what the deceased wanted to happen to their money, property and possessions.

It might state whether the deceased wished to be cremated or buried and the sort of funeral they wanted.

It will say whether an executor is to be appointed and given the responsibility of paying debts and dealing with money, property and possessions.

Finding The Will

It needs to be found as soon as possible. The Will may be among personal papers at home, at the bank, or with the deceased’s lawyer or relatives.

If There Is A Will

You should go to the Sheriff Clerks Office and take with you:

  • The Will.
  • Personal details of the estate and its value at the date of the deceased’s death, including any interest, dividends or bonuses to be added to any bank accounts, stocks and shares or insurance policies.
  • The certificate of death.
  • The Sheriff Clerk will complete the necessary forms and, if no further enquiries are necessary, will issue confirmation within a few days.

If There Is No Will

If you are applying to be appointed as executor, you should provide the Sheriff Clerk’s Office with the same information as needed when there is a will.

The proceedings are the same except that there may be a need to obtain a ‘bond of caution’ - pronounced: kay-shun.

This is a guarantor’s agreement from an individual or from an insurance company that the executor will carry out his or her duties correctly.

It also insures against losses in the handling of the estate.

An insurance company will charge a fee for this. You will be asked to provide proof of your identity and of your relationship with the deceased. The Sheriff Clerk can give you advice about this.