Grant of probate in Scotland has some key differences from grant of probate in other parts of the UK.
There are specific rules that you’ll need to be aware of when dealing with probate and certain differences, but the reality is that wherever you are dealing with probate it can be a difficult and tiring process.
Dealing with the legal side of things following the death of a loved one can be emotional and it’s part of the reason that we set up Solicitors Near Me to help you.
We know how important it is to have quick and easy access to a legal expert to guide you through the grant of probate process.
What Is Probate Called In Scotland?
While you’ll often hear about probate, it’s actually called confirmation in Scotland, which is one of the big differences you might notice.
So, what are the differences between confirmation and probate?
Well, first things first, probate is granted via a High Court order while confirmation is granted by the commissary department of the local sheriff court or by the Edinburgh sheriff court.
Confirmation grants have no time limit, unlike probate in England and Wales which CAN have time limits, and there’s no set limit to the number of people who can apply for confirmation on an estate.
Again, that’s different in England and Wales where a maximum of four executors can apply for probate on one estate.
Perhaps the most important difference, though, is the fact that confirmation can be granted even if the deceased died without a will.
It’s a key distinction and one that could make a big difference to confirmation in Scotland if your loved one died intestate.
There are also slightly different rules in Scotland when it comes to executors:
- Executors in Scotland must be at least 16, which is lower than the minimum age in England and Wales, which is 18
- Executors in Scotland will only be referred to as Executors in legal documents regardless of the grant obtained, while this can vary depending on the grant in England and Wales
How To Apply For Probate
Probate applications have several key stages, starting with registering the death.
In Scotland, you must register a person’s death within EIGHT days of their death, and you’ll then be issued with a death certificate.
The death certificate is essential as many places will require this as proof to release the money, funds, and assets ready for distribution as part of the estate.
Following this, the probate process will continue as follows:
- You will obtain a valuation on the estate by accessing all bank accounts, pensions, investments, assets, and gaining a valuation on any properties
- You will then need to file inheritance tax (IHT) forms
- After this, probate applications will be filed
- Then probate fees will be paid
- And finally, IHT will be paid
Obtaining a valuation on their estate involves establishing ALL assets and liabilities in the deceased’s name.
This is a key part of the process as it determines what will be distributed as per their wishes outlined in their will; what the value of any investments, pensions, and property are, and whether there are any debts or liabilities.
You’ll need to contact several places to ensure that you get the full picture, including:
- HMRC concerning any outstanding tax
- Pension providers
- Local authorities regarding outstanding council tax
- The Department for Work and Pensions
- Fund managers and investment brokers
You won’t need to apply for confirmation if the estate is valued at less than £5,000 or if the deceased owned everything jointly with another living person since the estate will be automatically passed to them.
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