Executry & Probate Solicitors in Glasgow

A compassionate approach to helping you wind up a loved one’s estate.

How we can help

Executry and Probate Advice Solicitors in Scotland

Looking for expert executry and probate solicitors? At Neil Kilcoyne & Co we have a wealth of knowledge and years of experience in dealing with probate (also known as confirmation) and executorship, so we can advise and support you in dealing with the estate of a deceased person.

 We can offer private probate consultation appointments over the phone, with an experienced Probate Solicitor, so that matters can be taken care of from the comfort of your home. 

Whether your loved one died with or without a will we are here to help and can deal with matters on your behalf.

Executry & Probate FAQs

Read our Executry & Probate FAQs for the answers to some commonly asked questions regarding the execution of a will and the winding up of an estate:

Helping you through a difficult time

Dealing With The Estate Of Someone Who Has Died

When a person dies, anything that is owned by that person is called an estate. An estate can include money, property, shares, and possessions. If the person that died owed any money such as through a mortgage or debt, this would come out of the estate

The estate is usually left to someone, or people in the will, which will also have instructions as to who will be responsible for dealing with the estate, also known as an Executor. 


What is an Executor?

An executor is the person who ultimately is in charge of the deceased estate, this includes winding up the estate and distributing the deceased assets. The executor will usually be appointed in terms of the deceased’s will. 

In order for an executor to deal with the estate, they may need to apply for a special legal authority first, called probate, or in Scotland, it is known as confirmation.

What If There Is No Executor Named In The Will?

If the deceased has died without a will or the named executor is not willing to take part, then a petition to court will normally be required to appoint an executor. Read more on probate without a will

Do I Have to Act as Executor if I am Named in the Will?

No, even if you have been appointed as executor, you do not have to take on the role. This is something you can discuss with a solicitor, like us on how best to take forward the will. Dealing with an estate can be difficult and upsetting, so do not feel like you have to deal with it alone. 

What Does An Executor Of a Will Do?

An executor must investigate the extent of the assets and liabilities in the estate and thereafter apply for Confirmation of the estate. This is a process which usually involves applying to court and on larger estates, making tax returns to HMRC

When Confirmation has been granted by court an executor of wills duties is to in-gathers assets and pays off debts and taxes due by the estate and distributes the estate according to the deceased’s Will or the law of Scotland where there is no valid will. 

Additional executor of a will duties include: 

  • Creating an inventory of the estate
  • Working out the amount of inheritance tax due and arranging payment
  • Opening a bank account on behalf of the estate
  • Finding out details of money owed to the estate
  • Finding out details of money owed by the person who has died
  • Sharing out the estate, as set out in the will or according to the rules of intestacy.

Why You Might Need an Executry and Probate Solicitor?

As can be seen by the duties of an executor, winding up an estate is often a complex process with many potential pitfalls. Hiring a solicitor will mean we can advise you and support you in a number of matters including:

  • Matters which could potentially minimise the estate’s liability to inheritance tax
  • To help you apply for confirmation
  • To explain the rules of legal rights of those who do not appear as beneficiaries in a will, the validity of informal or DIY wills and the ability to rectify the lack of formalities with them. 
  • To advise you on what to do if it appears that there are not enough assets in the estate to cover outstanding tax, expenses, bills and other liabilities.
  • To advise in the case of a complicated will, where the estate is complicated such as money abroad, money in a trust, or if the person has a business.

With over 20 years of experience in dealing with complex small and large estates our team of probate solicitors are here to lead you through that process as smoothly as possible. It’s why we have become, and remain, one of the top probate solicitor firms in Scotland.

Our Estate Administration Service

We understand that dealing with a loved one and deceased’s estate can be incredibly daunting as well as overwhelming. Our specialist solicitors have extensive experience helping clients administer the estate of their loved ones including helping with legal matters, tax, administrating and selling property and guidance and support with estate administration as a whole.

Executry & Probate Advice

At Neil Kilcoyne, we are passionate about helping people in challenging circumstances, navigate the role as executor, and applying for confirmation and probate. We’ll take the time to understand your unique situation and offer the best probate advice you can receive, which is why we are one of the leading confirmation and probate solicitors in Scotland. 

Get in touch today, to discuss how our expert probate solicitors can provide you with legal advice regarding executorship, probate, confirmation, and estate administration. 

In order to take instructions we must conduct an online identity check or alternatively require photographic identification from you (e.g. passport or driving licence) and proof of your residential address (e.g a utility bill, council tax letter or bank statement). This must be dated within the last three months. These documents can be emailed to us at admin@kilcoyne-solicitors.co.uk and will be placed on file. Our Letter of Engagement, Terms of Business and any other correspondence will continue to be issued by email or post.

Get in Touch

Contact our team of dedicated lawyers on our 24 hour solicitor helpline to start getting the legal assistance you’re looking for.

With offices based in Glasgow in Scotland, we’re able to give you the help you need, when you need it. Get in touch with a member of our team today to book an appointment or for a free telephone consultation. 


Probate in England and Wales, or confirmation as it is also known in Scotland, is the right to handle a person’s estate (money, property & possessions) when they die.

Probate is just one part of the wider estate administration process, which is the entire process of winding up a person’s affairs after they’ve died. Probate and Confirmation are processes in which an executor(s) is granted legal title to the dead person’s assets or estate. Confirmation and probate are both attained through submitting an application to the court. In Scotland confirmation applications are lodged with the Sheriff court.

With a grant of probate in England and Wales, executors can ingather assets and distribute them to the beneficiaries of the estate. In Scotland, the process is a little different and a detailed list of the dead person’s assets must be prepared. This is known as an inventory. The court grants confirmation to the assets in the inventory.

If the deceased person’s entire estate is in Scotland, you need confirmation. If, however, they have assets spread internationally, you may need both confirmation and probate.

Probate and confirmation are very similar processes, however there are procedural differences between the two. 

Key differences between probate and confirmation:

  1. Probate is an order of the high court, whereas confirmation in Scotland is granted by the commissary department of the local sheriff court or Edinburgh sheriff court.
  2. If someone dies leaving a valid will, they are deemed testate, if they do not, they are deemed intestate. In Scotland confirmation is granted, if required, whether the deceased died testate or intestate. In England, there are three different grants depending on if the deceased died testate, or intestate. 
  3. In Scotland, those responsible for administering the estate are only called executors, whereas in England, they can also be declared administrators depending on the grant of probate obtained. 
  4. The executor in Scotland must be aged 16 or over, whereas in England they must be 18 or over.
  5. In Scotland, there is no maximum number of executors who can obtain confirmation. In England, a maximum of four people can obtain a grant of probate.
  6. Confirmation forms include C1, C5 and inheritance tax forms as opposed to probate and inheritance tax forms in England. 
  7. When a deceased dies intestate, an executor may have to obtain a bond of caution in Scotland, a type of insurance policy, before they can obtain confirmation. This is not the case for probate in England.

When applying for confirmation, an executor/executors must provide a full list, called an inventory or a C1 form, of all the deceased property at the time of their death. This is also known as probate property. The inventory may include any money, shares, properties, land, or possessions. In Scotland, confirmation is only possible if the inventory leasts one item of money or property.

There are two types of confirmation: small estate or large estate. 

Small estates refer to an estate where the total value is £36000 or less and a large estate is anything that totals more than this value. The total value does not include the deduction of any debts. If you are dealing with a large estate, it is highly recommended to take out legal advice, with solicitors like Neil Kilcoyne.

Depending on the type of confirmation, there will be different confirmation forms to be filled out. Generally C1 is the inventory form to be filled out, and you will also need a C5 or IHT400. A solicitor will be able to advise you on the correct forms to be completed. As well as this, a solicitor can also help you with establishing and applying to pay off any debts from the estate or taxes.

The fees for applying for confirmation can depend on the size and value of the estate as well as the number of certificates you must provide to different banks and insurance companies to enable them to release the funds. There are also additional costs such as inheritance tax and the cost of hiring a solicitor. It is best to discuss the cost on an individual basis with a solicitor.

In most cases, it is usually against the law to start dealing out an estate, without a letter of confirmation.

Once confirmation has been granted, the executor will be able to bring all the assets and property together and begin the process of distributing the estate. If there is property involved, it is again wise to seek the help of a solicitor with that process.

An executor must wait at least 6 months after the deceased has died before distributing the estate, as it can take some time to establish who the deceased owed money to.

If there is a will, the executor may be able to complete distributing the estate based on what this states. However, married or civil partners and children can challenge this, with the help of a solicitor.

If there is no will, this presents a number of challenges and complex rules as to how the will is distributed. Speak to a solicitor to understand your rights and the process behind this.