It is inevitable at some stage that most of us will have to deal with the death of a loved one and at that stage most people do not wish to become involved in the bureaucracy in dealing with the winding up of a deceased person’s estate. At Hewats we have experienced individuals who can deal with the complexities of Confirmation to an estate which is required to allow the estate to be administered under Scots’ Law.
For Confirmation to be obtained an application is required in writing to the Sheriff Court and therefore where a deceased person has died whilst residing in Scotland the law of Scotland will govern the succession to the estate wherever it is situated with the exception of heritable estate (houses, buildings or land) held by the deceased person outwith Scotland.
Generally, Confirmation is the authority given by the court to the Executors appointed under the Will, or in the event there is no Will the Executor is appointed by the Court, to gather together the estate of the deceased person and thereafter to distribute it either in accordance with the deceased person’s wishes in their Will or in accordance with the law of intestate succession (in the event that there is no Will) in Scotland.
Confirmation is, roughly speaking, the Scottish equivalent of Probate and Letters of Administration in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Executry cases can be complex and a timescale for completing an executry can vary greatly dependent on the complexity of the estate and the terms of any Will which is being left. Some Wills do contain very complicated instructions which can result in an executry taking some time to be completed.
In the event that a Will has been left, Executors are able to generally distribute the estate in accordance with the wishes of the deceased person in the Will. However, difficulties do arise where no Will has been left and the estate then requires to be distributed in accordance with the law of Scotland and, in those circumstances, legal advice is vital to ensure that the correct distribution of the estate takes place.
In addition, whilst most Executors can deal with the distribution of the estate, the process of completing the Inventory of Estate which is lodged with the Sheriff Court as part of the Confirmation process and the completing of the appropriate Inheritance Tax forms is sometimes not straightforward and, in those circumstances, Hewats are able to carry out the completion of these matters on behalf of the Executors.
In some cases the deceased’s estate may fall within the limits set down for the Small Estates procedure and it may not be necessary to employ a solicitor for that type of estate. However, we are still able to assist in the event that the Executor wishes to leave matters in the hands of a legally qualified individual to carry out this work.