What is Confirmation?
Confirmation is a legal document that is granted by the court.
It acts as proof that you - the executor - are authorised to deal with the property owned by the deceased person. Once you have the document, you can send it to all the banks, building societies and other organisation with which the deceased had an account or property. In return, they will transfer the money or property to you, as Executor, to distribute according to the Will.
To obtain Confirmation, an executor must provide a inventory of all the deceased's property at the time of death. The inventory - might include money, houses, land and shares. The inventory must include:
all items of property, even those that have already been paid over to the deceased's representative(s); and any other property that might be located in England, Wales or Northern Ireland.
Confirmation is possible only if the inventory includes at least one item of money or other property in Scotland. Contact us for more information
Applying for Confirmation?
A major part of the application for confirmation is given over to an inventory of the estate, and needs to be quite detailed, setting out a description of each item (such as an account name and number, or house address) and a value.
Before applying for confirmation you will need to obtain up to date valuations for everything to be included in the estate. This process can take quite a bit of time while you wait for all the companies to supply the relevant information to you.
As executor of the estate the application will also set out your details, so that you can be officially authorised by the court. If there is a Will, then the process is simple – the court can check the Will, check your identity, and approve the appointment.
If there is no Will, then you can still be appointed as an executor, but different procedures apply. Speak to our Marina Kerr for further information.
Obtaining Confirmation in Scotland?
Once you have completed the application, you will need to send it to the local sheriff clerk's office together with the relevant court fee and any accompanying documents. Confirmation is normally granted within a few days.
Why do I need Confirmation?
It is usually the banks or insurance companies that request Confirmation before they will pay over the money to the beneficiaries of the deceased’s estate. The idea is that by obtaining confirmation the court is confirming that a third party, the executor, has the right to the deceased’s property and is entrusting that person to transfer those assets in accordance with the will or the law.
When do I need Confirmation?
Confirmation is nearly always needed when a person who dies leaves one or more of the following, £5,000 or more although this figure can vary significantly depending on which institution is holding the funds.
When is Confirmation not needed?
The person who died left a total estate not exceeding £5,000 (although the figure can vary significantly depending upon which institution is holding the funds. In practice in some cases, Confirmation can be dispensed with in cases where the estate is worth up to £36,000, but in other cases lower limits will apply). The deceased owned everything jointly with someone else and everything passes automatically to the surviving joint owner.