On reading through this website or while researching how to deal with a bereaved person’s estate, you will no doubt have come across a few unfamiliar terms. We understand that legal terminology can often be confusing, especially for someone who is encountering it for the first time, so the following frequently asked questions are designed to make these terms a little clearer.
A will is a document that someone draws up before their death, detailing exactly what they want to happen to their money, property and belongings after they die.
An executor is someone who has the responsibility of dealing with someone’s estate after they die. Executors are named in the will or appointed by the Court if someone dies without a will.
When we talk about someone’s ‘estate’, we mean all the formalities that have to be dealt with after someone has died; this can range from cancelling a Boots Advantage Card to dealing with bank accounts, life insurance policies and investment portfolios. All these processes form part of the ‘estate administration’.
Confirmation is a legal document issued by the court confirming who the executor of the estate is, what makes up the estate, and that the executor has the legal right to deal with the assets in the estate.
A Certificate of Confirmation is often asked for by banks, building societies, share registrars, etc. to authorise them to close the account of a deceased person. When Confirmation is issued by the Sheriff Court, they will give the executor a Certificate of Confirmation for each item of the estate that needs one. Generally, these are required for assets which are in the deceased’s sole name. The will, on its own, is not always enough to deal with these assets in the sole name.