If you’re looking after the estate of a deceased friend or relative in Scotland, you may be worried about what to do first, the timescales you need to work to, how to deal with banks, insurance companies, pension providers and perhaps the title deeds to their home.
We have the experience and knowledge to help you obtain Confirmation through the Scottish Courts.
Our dedicated Scottish solicitors and paralegals are available to listen to your concerns and guide you through this difficult time with clear and considered legal advice.
We adapt to suit your needs – whether this means dealing with the entire estate or simply reviewing the Court papers and HM Revenue & Customs forms you have completed – and our initial conversation with you is completely free.
To have a chat with us today, call us on 0141 628 5544. You can also contact us via our Enquiry Form or speak with a solicitor at any time (evenings and weekends included) through our Live Chat facility.
“Weir Law provided an excellent and professional service, helping me finalise my late dad’s estate. Nothing was too much bother and I was guided through all the legal forms with ease. I would use their services again if needed and would have no hesitation recommending Weir Law to others.”
Depending on the estate you're dealing with, you can choose from any of the following services:
Small Estate Service - This is a free-to-use service
We provide completely free advice to guide you through the process of obtaining Confirmation to a small estate in Scotland.
If the person who has died has worldly goods and possessions valued at less than £36,000 then this is classified as a "small estate".
We will give you the advice and assistance you need to obtain Confirmation to a small estate in Scotland.
Large Estate Service - To unlock assets & property
If you are named as an Executor in someone's Will - or if you are the closest relative of someone who has died - we can take the stress out of the process by completing all Court and tax forms required to obtain Confirmation in Scotland.
This service includes addressing Inheritance Tax, estate tax returns, legal rights (and other) claims on the estate.
We offer a fixed-fee for this service, so you know exactly what it'll cost at the outset.
Asset Discovery Service - We'll find accounts, title deeds, policies
We are able to arrange a search to uncover and locate dormant bank accounts, building society accounts, title deeds to a property, pension and insurance policies which belong to the person who has passed-away.
If you're in charge of an estate and you're not entirely certain that you've located all of the deceased person's assets, get in touch with us now and we can help you obtain a comprehensive overview of the estate.
DIY Confirmation Service - If you're doing it yourself.
You've got the Forms and you have all the information you need to submit these to the Sheriff Court. You just need someone to look-over your documents and give you a professional steer.
We offer a fixed-fee service to review and advise on your application for Confirmation.
Contact us now to chat this through and we'll take the time to guide you through the application process.
“Managing my late father’s estate from abroad was proving stressful and very difficult until I called Weir Law. From the first telephone call to the last e-mail I have received a very high level of customer service from a very professional team. The fees are clear and represent very good value for money. I can highly recommend them.”
Guidance for Executors
If you find yourself in the situation where you are dealing with a deceased’s estate, it is essential that you are made aware of your rights and responsibilities as executor of the estate. Without legal guidance, you run the risk of a claim against you – by a disappointed beneficiary or even HM Revenue & Customs.
By instructing a solicitor, not only will you have the comfort of knowing what is expected of you as executor, you can share the burden (or off-load this entirely) with the solicitor – who will deal with all the paperwork and court procedures on your behalf.
If you decide to administer the estate yourself, it is worth bearing in mind the following:#
If there is no will, you must apply to the court to be executor
Unless you are named in the deceased’s will, you do not have the automatic right to act as executor of the estate unless you have petitioned the sheriff court nearest to the deceased’s home address. There are strict rules for such a petition, and in many cases you will be expected to obtain an insurance policy (known as a bond of caution) before the sheriff court will entertain your application.
Where the deceased owned a property, you will need to see the title deeds
This is critically important, since it is often the case that the deceased’s house is the most valuable asset in their estate. The title deeds may be held by a solicitor or the mortgage company. If you are having difficulty tracing the whereabouts of the title deeds, you can obtain electronic copies within a few days via the Registers of Scotland website. A thorough examination of the title deeds and the nature of the deceased’s ownership of the property is essential.
Obtaining confirmation requires attention to detail
If you have been asked by a bank or third party to provide confirmation (also known as probate or letters of administration in England and Wales), this means that you will need to complete and submit a set of official forms that detail the deceased’s assets, personal circumstances and those of the executor(s). The confirmation document contains an inventory, which must be populated to include all assets forming part of the deceased’s estate. In some cases, assets such as insurance policies written into trust or an employer’s death in service benefits may not form part of the estate, so it is important that you are able to distinguish estate from non-estate assets.
You will need to contact all potential beneficiaries
As executor, you have a responsibility to account to all potential beneficiaries of the estate. This means that all children (including formally-adopted children but excluding stepchildren) must be contacted following the death to inform them of their right to make a claim on the estate – even where the deceased’s will states otherwise. The law of Scotland allows all children of a deceased parent the right to claim on the estate, and this right does not extinguish until 20 years following the death. If, during that time, the executor has not provided the potential claimant with their entitlement, the executor may be personally sued by the claimant for the amount they were due from the estate.
You must keep accurate and transparent financial accounts
For the sheriff court and HM Revenue & Customs’ purposes, you will need to obtain the date of death valuations of the deceased’s assets. For complete accounting, you must also ingather the final values of these estate items, together with all interest that may have accrued. Once the legal protocols have been followed to conclusion, the executor must produce a final estate account – showing the amounts received, tax due, professional fees paid, liabilities deducted and amounts to be distributed. This account can be requested by third parties so you are advised to ensure full and diligent accounting.advised to ensure full and diligent accounting.
Weir Law Solicitors focus on Confirmation and Probate and in Scotland. With office locations in Glasgow, Edinburgh and throughout the country, we cover all locations throughout Scotland. We also act for individuals living abroad who have been tasked with dealing with a Scottish deceased's estate. Whatever your query, contact us today on 0141 628 5544 or email@example.com