Confirmation only needs to be applied for under the same conditions as in England and Wales. However, there are some considerable differences between applying for ‘confirmation' in Scotland and applying for ‘probate' in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. This is because Scotland has a separate judicial system and the differences between confirmation and probate are matters of law, upheld by the Scottish Courts.
Confirmation is obtained by submitting an inventory form C1, relative form C5 and the form IHT400 together with the necessary paperwork to the Sheriff Court. An IHT400 will have to be completed unless the estate is either exempt or small.
The deceased's estate is referred to as either heritable property or moveable estate. Heritable property is land or buildings, and moveable estate is money, investments and possessions. Heritable property may be owned solely, jointly or the title may contain a survivorship clause. If the property is owned solely or jointly, the executor is required to obtain confirmation to be able to transfer the title to a beneficiary. If there is a survivorship clause, the title of the property automatically passes to the surviving owner and an extract of the death certificate should be placed with the title deeds.
The title of heritable property can be transferred to a beneficiary by means of a disposition, or by attaching a signed document to the confirmation (or to a certificate of confirmation).
There are different processes to follow, depending on if there is a Will or not.
A solicitor or specialist company can apply for confirmation for you. Visit the Law Society (Scotland) website to find a solicitor, or to find out more about applying for confirmation in Scotland yourself, you can download our DIY guide.