Intestate estate scotland

I have been appointed by the court as mediator of an intestate estste due to family discourse. Apart from mediation between beneficiares,I have to to ingather funds and distribute the remaining estate equally between all adult children of the deceased.
Prior to my involvement,one of the beneficiares took it upon themselves to claim a couple of insurance policies without a mandate from all beneficiares.
I have managed to retrieve the funds but have an issue regarding the actions of one of the insurance companies who have paid for a headstone ordered by the same beneficiary.
I only found out about this when one of the other beneficiares went to the grave to find the original stone had been removed and called the remaining insurance company that had yet to pay out to ask about the policy claim.
The insurance company believe it’s within their rights to do this. So I agreed that this was a reasonable funeral expense that would be met by the estate.
I now have a very angry beneficiary who insists that the headstone is not a funeral expense and demands that I see it as such as she refuses to contribute to a headstone that she knew nothing about.
The beneficiary made a complaint to the insurance company and the case is now with the financial ombudsmen.
I have seen gravestone expenses paid by some estates before so I am standing by my decision but said beneficiary is now threatening me with the possibility of legal action and states that I am acting outwith the remit set by the court.
Any advice on this would be appreciated.

The role of a mediator is to reach a mutually agreeable solution with the parties. Making decisions based on your own interpretation and without agreement might not sit well with that role.

A mediator has a duty of confidentiality. I wonder if you have posted too much information on a public forum.

This sounds very interesting. I would generally agree that Scots law would allow a headstone as a funeral expense, properly payable from the deceased’s estate. There may be arguments around whether such funeral expenses are unduly excessive, or disproportionate to the value of the estate, I suppose.

More generally, Donna, are you appointed as a judicial factor (JF) on the estate? Or has the court appointed you as a mediator? I have not come across the latter in practice, but appointment as a JF is far from unheard of where there are disputes between those with an interest in a Scottish estate.

Sandy Lamb WS TEP
Lindsays LLP

It is a position to act as an intermediary. I have taken decisions with regards to the payment of debt and feel that the headstone is a funeral expense. The headstone cost is 36% of the total funds remaining after debts.
I am of the view that this matter will require the sheriff to decide as we have reached an impasse.

Thanks Donna. I am not familiar with a court appointment such as you describe, to act as intermediary but also with power to ingather and distribute assets. I wonder if the cost to the estate of a petition for directions as you suggest might significantly diminish what is already an estate of relatively low value.

Sandy Lamb WS TEP
Lindsays LLP, Glasgow

Sandy, The matter is now resolved.