IWC are pleased to announce that we are now able to offer fixed fee services for probate in Scotland. Our partners are able to provide a complete service for confirmation and estate administration. This includes –
Making an inventory of assets
Valuation of the Estate
Completing the application for confirmation
Completing the Inheritance tax return
Correspondence with beneficiaries
Informing all Relevant Persons – banks and financial institutions, passport office, local authorities, the Inland Revenue, utility and service providers etc.
Distributing the copies of the grant of confirmation
Collecting monies owed to the estate
Distributing assets to the beneficiaries
Scotland has a separate judicial system to the rest of the UK and probate law is upheld by the Scottish Courts. This means there are considerable differences between applying for probate or letters of administration in Scotland and applying in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Probate terminology and processes are different, for example, in Scotland probate is called confirmation and the personal representative applies for a grant of confirmation. Different forms are required too. Here’s a brief overview.
If the deceased's assets are valued at £36000 or less, this is classed as a small estate. The Small Estates Act allows you to obtain probate in a simplified way through The Sheriff Court. It is not necessary to have legal assistance, you must contact the office local to where the deceased was domiciled to make an appointment. However, once confirmation has been issued, you will have to wind up the estate so may prefer to have a professional undertake this on your behalf.
If the estate is valued over £36000 the executor must go through the full application process for a grant of confirmation. When there is no will, the next of kin must apply to the Sheriff Court to be appointed as Executor-dative. A bond of caution from an insurance company will normally be required. This guarantees you will administer the estate in accordance with The Succession Act 1964. In cases of intestacy, professional legal advice is strongly recommended.
The first step is to make a complete inventory of the deceased’s assets. This will enable you to fill out the probate application form C1. If the estate is excepted (no inheritance tax is owed), you must also fill out form C5, along with required documentation and forward to the Courts. If the estate exceeds the nil rate band of £325,000, you will need to complete an inheritance tax return. You must complete form IHT400 where you will give HMRC a full account of the estate.