“Confirmation” is a legal document, granted by a court, which allows the executor(s) to deal with the deceased person’s estate. The executors cannot begin to wind up and distribute the estate to those due to inherit (the beneficiaries) until Confirmation is obtained. Banks/building societies will require Confirmation before they will release the deceased’s assets to the executor.
While it is not legally required that you use a solicitor to obtain Confirmation, attempting the process without legal advice can be difficult. On this page, we outline some of the reasons why you may wish to use a solicitor to obtain Confirmation. We are happy to answer any questions you may have relating to the benefit of using a solicitor in your specific circumstances.
The key consideration is that obtaining Confirmation is a complex process. For example, during the application process you will need to provide an inventory of the estate (i.e. a list of all of the deceased’s assets, with a description and value for each item). The process of identifying and valuing all of the assets is detailed and lengthy, particularly where, for example, the deceased had assets located outside Scotland.
An application for Confirmation will also require details of the executors. This can be straightforward where the deceased has left a Will, but if there is no Will, there are different rules on how the executor is appointed, depending on the size of the estate. A solicitor is best placed to ascertain whether the estate is “small” or “large” for such purposes, and can act as an Executry solicitor if it is felt that this would be most efficient for all concerned.
A specialist solicitor will be able to deal with such tasks thoroughly and efficiently, meaning that all aspects of applying for Confirmation run as smoothly as possible.
Inheritance Tax payment
Accurate preparation of the inventory is also important in determining Inheritance Tax liability. Inheritance tax must be paid for before or at the same time as the application for Confirmation. The general rule is that Inheritance Tax is payable at 40% of any assets over a £325,000 threshold, although there are various exemptions and exceptions to this rule. A solicitor can advise on Inheritance Tax and ensure that the Confirmation process is not delayed by errors in calculating tax liability.
Where necessary, a solicitor can also advise executors on the most efficient ways to release or even borrow funds to pay Inheritance Tax (as this must be paid prior to the executor’s access to the deceased’s estate).
Easing the burden during a difficult time
Lastly, although most importantly, losing a loved one is an immensely painful experience. Using a solicitor to obtain Confirmation will ensure that you do not need to face complex legal and administrative matters during the process of grieving for a lost friend or relative.
Contact Our Expert Executry and Probate Solicitors in Glasgow, Scotland
Contact us today if you have any questions about obtaining confirmation, or any other aspects of Executries/Probate. We are based in Glasgow and work with clients throughout Scotland. Call our approachable team on 0141 222 7951 or contact us online.