In Scotland, if the total amount of the deceased's gross estate is £36,000 or less, it is known as a small estate. It is worth noting that the value of the estate is calculated before any debts are paid including funeral expenses and the balance of the mortgage.
The difference with a small estate
If the estate qualifies as a small estate, it is possible to apply for help from the Sheriff Clerk’s staff for applying for confirmation. Ideally you should contact the Sheriff Clerk in the area where the deceased lived, but if that is not possible or convenient you can instead ask your local sheriff to assist you.
For larger estates the Sheriff Clerk cannot assist you and you may want to consider using a professional. Visit the Law Society (Scotland) website to find a local solicitor.
The Sheriff Clerk
In order to gain confirmation you will need to complete the forms C1 and C5. C1 forms deal with an inventory of the estate - listing all of the component assets and their values – and calculating the inheritance tax due, while C5 forms provide a summary of the estate. The Sheriff Clerk’s staff can help with this process by preparing the inventory of the estate for you.
If you wish to make an appointment, the details of your local court’s opening times and location are available on the Scottish Courts and Tribunals website. Appointments typically last 30 – 45 minutes.
There is a court fee for the provision of confirmation to the estate but there is no additional fee charged by the staff at the Sheriff Clerk's Office.