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Large Estates



What is a large estate?

A large estate is an estate where the total value of the deceased’s money and property is over £36000. 

Dealing with a large estate or one where a house or other property is involved can often be complicated and there are legal consequences to obtaining confirmation. In the event of any mistakes being made, the executor is legally responsible and the remedies for correcting errors are few and potentially expensive. If an executor is in any doubt about his or her ability to carry out the correct procedures, or if there is any dispute, the executor is strongly advised to consult a solicitor.

Please note: The Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service is prohibited from assisting applicants for confirmation to large estates and we would therefore recommend that you seek legal advice. 

Application Forms/Guidance notes

Application forms and guidance notes can be found on the HMRC website.

The application form is a dual-purpose form used by both the court and HM Revenues and Customs (HMRC) for the issue of confirmation and assessment of tax respectively.

All parts of the inventory form C1 should be completed in conjunction with the guidance provided from HMRC in their booklet "Notes to help you fill in C1 Confirmation Inventory and form C5 (2006)".

Further information

If further information is needed, the book “Currie on Confirmation of Executors” by E. M Scobbie (9th edition) contains practical guidance in respect of the preparation of inventories and applying for confirmation (this publication may be available in your local library).

There is also some useful information in the booklet “What to do after a death in Scotland......practical advice for times of bereavement”, produced by the Scottish Government.

Additional administrative requirements when lodging application with the court

In the event that you are applying for confirmation to a large estate without the help of a solicitor, you must also produce the following documents to the court along with your application:

  • the death certificate of the deceased (not a copy);
  • if the deceased left a Will:
  • the original Will or testamentary writing; or
  • where the will has been registered in the Books of Council and Session or sheriff court, an extract of that document;

(If there is no will, there is an additional legal step in the procedure before you can lodge your application with the court and we would advise seeking legal advice in relation to this)

  • the court fee;
  • proof of your identity – 2 documents are required – acceptable forms of identity include:
  • A government-issued document which incorporates your full name and photograph, and either your residential address, or your date of birth, i.e.

–              a valid passport,

–              a valid photocard driving licence (full or provisional),

–              a National Identity card (non-UK nationals),

–              a Firearms certificate or shotgun licence, or

–              an Identity card issued by the Electoral Office for Northern Ireland.

  • A government-issued document (without a photograph) which incorporates your full name, and either your residential address, or your date of birth, i.e.

–              a valid (old style) full UK driving licence, or

–              recent evidence of entitlement to a state or local authority funded benefit including housing benefit, council tax benefit, tax credit, pension, educational or other grant.

  • Other documents such as

–              a current council tax demand letter, or statement,

–              current bank statements, or credit/debit card statements (but not ones printed off the internet), or

–              recent utility bills (but not ones printed off the internet).

If you are unable to provide two forms of identification from the above list, you should telephone the sheriff clerk’s office prior to attending, to discuss what alternative forms of identification would be acceptable.

If you are not attending the court personally, but rather submitting the application by post, then three pieces of documentary evidence are required.

How much does it cost?

The fees for applying for confirmation will depend on the value of the estate and the number of certificates you need to provide for different banks, insurance companies etc to allow them to release the funds. The current fees can be accessed in the Sheriff Court Fees section.

You should note that these fees do not include any fees you may need to pay if you have instructed a solicitor to help you. The solicitor can give you information on these costs.

You cannot apply for fee exemption when applying for confirmation unless the estate of the deceased person is exempt from inheritance tax by virtue of:

  • section 153A (death of emergency service personnel etc.),
  • section 154 (death in active service etc.), or
  • section 155A (death of constables and service personnel targeted because of their status)

of the Inheritance Tax Act 1984  in which case there is no fee in respect of the inventory of that estate. However, fees for certificates, copies, etc. remain payable in these circumstances.

Where can I get legal advice?

Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service staff are not legally qualified and therefore cannot provide you with any legal advice. If you do need to get legal advice, the Law Society of Scotland can provide contact details for solicitors in your area.



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