If you want to administer an estate when someone has died in Scotland, you may need to apply to the Sheriff Court for confirmation (the Scottish equivalent of ‘probate’) so you have the authority to sort out the deceased’s affairs.

Do you need a grant of probate?

This depends on the size of the deceased’s estate and the kinds of assets in it.

Normally, a grant of probate is required if the value of the deceased’s estate (after paying the funeral account) is over £5,000.

Find out more on when a grant of probate is needed.

Applying for confirmation without a solicitor

To apply for confirmation yourself you need to complete and send a variety of probate forms to the Commissary Department of the Sheriff Court, which outline to the Sheriff Court what the deceased’s estate is worth.

Probate forms used to apply for confirmation in Scotland

To apply for confirmation in Scotland, you must complete the following probate forms:

  • Form C1 – the form of application for confirmation in Scotland, receipted where inheritance tax is payable
  • Form C5, if the gross value of the estate for inheritance tax is less than the inheritance tax threshold (£325,000) or is less than £1,000,000, and there is no inheritance tax to pay because of spouse, civil partner or charity exemption
  • Form IHT400, if the estate is not exempt from inheritance tax

Completing Form C1 – Confirmation Application Form

In the confirmation application form C1, the following information is requested:

Details of the deceased

  • The deceased’s name, address, occupation and date of birth and death

The executor

  • The executor’s name and address
  • The declaration of the executor(s) as to the accuracy of the information contained in the confirmation form

The deceased’s estate

  • An inventory of each item of estate and its value
  • A summary of the debts and expenses


  • The taxable value of the estate. If the estate is taxable, Form C1 must be stamped by HMRC to show that all tax assessed has been paid, before the Sheriff Court will accept the form and progress the application for confirmation. The estate isn’t taxable if it qualifies as either an excepted estate, or an exempt and excepted estate, but whether taxable or not, a further form must be completed and submitted to HMRC to allow it to satisfy itself as to the position (either Form C5 or Form IHT400).

In Scotland Form C1 and Form C5 need only be signed by one of the nominated executors.

Sending Form C1 to the Sheriff Court

If inheritance tax is payable, Form C1 and Form IHT400 should both be first submitted to HM Revenue & Customs. Form C1 will be receipted by the HMRC and returned to you, allowing you to apply for confirmation from the Sheriff Court.

Application for confirmation is made to the Sheriff Clerk of the Sheriff Court in the area in which the deceased had been domiciled at their death.

Get expert guidance on applying for confirmation, plus the confirmation forms you need, with Lawpack’s DIY Probate Kit.


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