Confirmation, Bonds of Caution, Small Estates & Other Unknowns
If you’ve been asked to obtain a “grant of probate” or “confirmation” or even “letters of administration”, you might be wondering where to start. Similarly, you might have been told about small and large estates and possibly the need for a bond of caution. Hopefully, this article will give you some useful pointers on what to do next.
When someone dies, the assets they hold (e.g. their house, money in the bank, pension funds, etc.) will have certain values attached them. The higher the value, the more likely it becomes that the asset-holder (i.e. the bank, the pension provider, etc.) will ask you to provide them with “confirmation” that you’ve gone through the necessary legal process to be able to receive the estate assets from them. If the deceased owned (in part or in whole) a property or plot of land, you’ll need to examine the title deeds to determine whether or not confirmation will be required to market and sell the property (or transfer ownership). This is something to do as soon as possible, as you do not want to put the property on the market, only to find that you need to undertake a lengthy legal process to obtain confirmation before you can finalise the sale and conclude missives. The process of obtaining Confirmation is detailed in our Services page above, but suffice it to say, you’ll need to complete certain forms and paperwork before submitting these to the relevant Sheriff Court in Scotland.
If the total value of everything owned by the deceased is less than £36,000.00 then you can approach the Sheriff Court to help you obtain Confirmation under the “small estates” procedure. If, however, the total value of the deceased’s estate is more than £36,000.00, you’ll likely need to get a solicitor involved to help with the application for Confirmation.
Now, if the person who has passed-away did not leave a Will, you may need to get an insurance policy to submit with your application to the Sheriff Court. This insurance policy is known as a bond of caution, and the Court will not be able to grant Confirmation unless you provide them with the fully-signed insurance policy when applying.
Unfortunately, you can only obtain a bond of caution through a solicitor, so do get in touch with us (firstname.lastname@example.org / 0141 628 5544) if you need help with this or any other aspect of applying for Confirmation.