© 2019 National Bereavement Service

Probate in Scotland

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To deal the deceased’s estate in Scotland you need to obtain 'confirmation' before any money and other property, belonging to the deceased, can be released.


It is often a bank, building society or insurance company that will ask for this.


'Confirmation' is a legal document from the court giving the executor(s) authority to deal with the persons land, property, money and possessions (their ‘estate’). The application is made to the Sheriff Court.


When you apply for Confirmation you need to create an Inventory, this is a full list of the deceased’s Estate.


You can only apply for Confirmation in Scotland if there is money or other property in Scotland.


The Estate

There are two types of Estate in Scotland, a Small Estate (an inventory value less than £36,000) and a Large Estate – all values above this.


In creating the inventory, you do not include and debts or costs that are still to be paid.


(Example: mortgage balance, funeral expenses, bills owed.)

If There is a Will

If there is a will, this will say what the deceased wants to happen with his Estate. The will may also include funeral instructions.


The Will should also appoint an Executor who will be eligible to apply for Confirmation.

If There Isn't a Will

Sometimes referred to as Intestate, the procedure to follow depends on the size of the estate.


For a Small Estate you will be able to get advice from the sheriff clerk.


If it is a Large Estate there are additional steps, and you need to be appointed executor using the dative petition procedure. This can be quite complex and follows the Rights of Succession for Scotland.


In these cases call the NBS helpline on 0800 0246 121 and we can offer help.


We also recommend you seek legal advice from a solicitor (we can help) or advice from Citizens Advice Bureau.

Fees in Scotland

The fees to be paid are based on the value of the Inventory plus the cost of the certificates:


£50,000 - No fee


£50,000.01 to £250,000 - £256


Exceeding £250,000 - £512


Certificate (if ordered when lodging inventory) - £8 plus £13 per additional copy

© 2019 National Bereavement Service

The National Bereavement Service is a not for profit organisation. Registered address: Hilden Park House, 79 Tonbridge Road, Hildenborough, Tonbridge, Kent, United Kingdom, TN11 9BH. Company number 09333323