Applying for confirmation in Scotland – cost, time, and solicitors
Applying for confirmation in Scotland is the equivalent of applying for probate in the rest of the UK. In short, it is an application for the legal authority to administer the estate of a person who has died.
But how much does the confirmation application process cost? How long does it take? Do you need a solicitor to make it happen?
If you might need a Grant of Confirmation (the name of the legal document that proves you have confirmation, sometimes called a “confirmation certificate”), here are the answers to some of the most common questions:
How Long Does It Take To Get Confirmation In Scotland?
The average timeframe to get confirmation in Scotland is three months from the date you start the process.
This is for the most straightforward of estates though. If you need to search out hidden accounts or engage the services of valuers or surveyors it can take much longer.
The process can also become extended if it becomes contested.
How Much Does It Cost To Get Confirmation In Scotland?
The average costs of applying for confirmation in Scotland are:
- Estate value of £5000 or less – no fee.
- Estate value of £5000 or more – £200 payable to the Sheriff Court.
- Multiple copies – you may need multiple copies of the certificate of confirmation. Each copy costs £5.
There may be additional costs if you choose to use the services of a professional probate solicitor.
Do I Need A Solicitor To Apply For Confirmation?
There is no legal requirement to engage a solicitor when you apply for confirmation. However, there are many situations where it’s probably a good idea to at least consult a legal expert and get a sense of your options.
For example, if the estate is complex or large (those valued at over £36 000 according to Scottish law) or when there is no will, hiring a confirmation or probate solicitor is often the safest and most efficient way to proceed.
However, for small estates (this term means an estate valued at under £36 000 under Scottish law) where there is a will, confirmation can usually be applied for with only the assistance of the Sheriff Clerk. This assistance is free.
How Do I Get A Certificate Of Confirmation In Scotland?
The equivalent of applying for probate in Scotland is getting your certificate of confirmation. The specific tasks required here are similar to the process of obtaining probate in the rest of the UK, but not identical:
- Acquire documents – you will need multiple copies of the death certificate and the most recent version of the will. If there is no will, you need to determine who is the closest relative who can apply to be executor (there is a strict order of priority).
- Create an inventory – this is a list of all of the deceased’s assets. This includes heritable property (buildings and land) and moveable property (personal possessions, money in bank accounts, investments, and so on).
- Value the estate – once you have a complete inventory, total the value of the estate. Don’t include debts or other negatives.
- Pay Inheritance Tax – the Inheritance Tax threshold in Scotland is £325 000. If the estate is valued above this, you will need to pay Inheritance Tax before you can get confirmation. There are many possible exceptions to this figure, including special options for married couples.
- Complete the required paperwork – this includes filling in several forms and sending them to the Sheriff Court for approval.
After this, your real responsibilities as the executor of a will begin!
Why Do I Need A Solicitor To Obtain Confirmation?
There are many circumstances where using a solicitor to obtain confirmation is best practice. The two most common are:
- Large or complex estates – the more complex the estate, the more likely it is that HMRC might challenge valuations or that you risk missing assets or making other mistakes that can end up being costly later on.
- There is no will – if there is no will, additional steps enter the confirmation application process. The first is applying for a Bond of Caution, a kind of protection against ineligible executors. For large estates, you might also need to pass through the dative petition procedure.
Only for small estates that are relatively straightforward is it a good idea to handle the process of applying for confirmation in Scotland with no assistance from a solicitor.
Not sure if you need a legal expert to help you apply for confirmation?
Solicitors Near Me will find you a friendly and approachable specialist to chat with about your situation for free and with zero commitment. Get in touch with us today.
Confirmation Solicitors Near Me
At Solicitors Near Me, we are here to guide you through the entire probate process.
All of our solicitors are hand-selected to be the best at what they do, so you can be assured of a high quality, personal service, near to where you live.
To find a solicitor near you, simply click the button below, enter a few details and we will soon connect you with a probate solicitor for FREE.