The process of winding up an estate – Confirmation as it is officially known in Scotland – is required in around half of cases to access a person’s money and to sell any property after they have died.

Yet, according to a new study carried out by Edinburgh-based business, My Probate Partner, only around a fifth of the Scottish public understands what the process entails. 

The research, which questioned members of the Scottish public on their experience and understanding of dealing with the administrative side of someone’s death, also revealed that 82% have no idea as to how long the process takes, with just more than that unsure as to how much it costs. 

When questioned on where individuals would seek help when dealing with the administration or financial side of a family member’s death, 65% confirmed they would consult a solicitor and 11% advised they would look for support online.  

Other key take aways from the research include: 

  • more than 90% of respondents underestimated the cost of hiring a solicitor for probate, by thousands of pounds on average – 55% thought it would cost less than £1,000. 
  • 39% of respondents incorrectly believed all property and/or financial assets are automatically inherited by the people entitled to inherit them. 
  • 52% of respondents didn’t think any planning had been done to deal with the finances of a family member they will be responsible for dealing with after they die. 

Discussing the research, Mike Davis, Founder and Director of Edinburgh based firm My Probate Partner, said: “The administrative process when someone dies often comes as a very unwelcome surprise if the person responsible hasn’t dealt with it before, meaning they usually turn to a solicitor. But this option can make the process even more unnecessarily time-consuming, stressful, and costly with solicitor fees averaging between £3,000-£5,000. 

“This latest research is extremely telling and highlights that the majority of people are unaware of the administrative process needed when someone dies, let alone the timescales and costs involved. However, with the right guidance and support – which can be found online – the majority of people would be able to manage the process themselves, dramatically reducing the time and cost burden as a result.” 

Established in 2019, My Probate Partner provides a middle-ground solution to managing probate in Scotland independently versus hiring a lawyer, empowering people to keep control of the process by providing them with the support and guidance needed to reduce both stress and time investment – all for a fraction of the cost of hiring a solicitor.  

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