Probate Valuations: FAQs, Help and Guidance

For executors who are not familiar with probate valuations and the process of obtaining probate , we have compiled a list of frequently asked questions. If you require any further information, we will be pleased to help and assist. Call Jeffrey Avery on 0800 567 7769.

What is a probate valuation?

One of the primary duties of an executor (or administrator) of a will is to value the entire estate, including the deceased's property, (their home, for example), and their goods and chattels (the possessions contained in a property which are not part of the fabric of the building). As an example, the furniture would be a chattel, whereas, generally, the radiators which are fixed to the walls are not. As part of the winding up process, an executor will be required to provide an estimate of the total value of all the chattels, so that tax liabilities can be correctly assessed. These documents are known as probate valuations.

Why do I need a professional probate valuation?

There are three reasons why obtaining professional valuations of both property and chattels will help to smooth the process of obtaining probate.

First, the value of the house, and the goods and chattels contained therein form part of the total valuation of an estate for tax purposes, and professional valuations are much less likely to be queried by HMRC, which could mean fewer delays.

Second, probate valuations by someone without expert knowledge could result in over valuation ,which could cause additional, unnecessary tax liablities or undervaluation, resulting in a query being raised by the tax authorities, which could cause significant delays in the winding up of the estate.

Third, where individual items are bequeathed to specific beneficiaries, or there is family division, itemised probate valuations will simplify the process of calculating tax liabilities on these items.

What form does the probate valuation take?

We provide the documentation for probate valuations in the form of a declaration of value, and, where appropriate, a schedule of higher value items. The value of the goods and chattels is declared to be that which pertains at the date of death.

Where required, we will convert all probate valuations into PDF format and send them to all interested parties, but in all cases, signed hard copies are always supplied.

We are able to provide the probate valuations in both forms within 48 hours of appraisal, unless additional research is required.

Which HMRC forms will I need when dealing with a probate valuation of household and personal goods or chattels?

You will need to complete the following forms:

The forms are available online and can be downloaded from www.hmrc.gov.uk/inheritancetax/. Attach the written probate valuation to these forms when submitting them to HMRC.

How much will it cost?

Our probate valuation fee is normally £350 although this is subject to negotiation for smaller estates. Where research is required into unusual, rare, or high value items, we charge an additional £50 per hour, subject to a maximum of £200.

Can you assist us to realise the monetary value of antiques, collectables, or other high value items such as vehicles?

We can arrange for items to be transported to one of our recommended auction houses, and can also advise you on the auction process, so as to ensure that the maximum value, in the best interests of the estate, is obtained. If desired, we can also purchase the entire contents, including vehicles, directly.

Can you also clear the property

Yes, if desired we can completely clear the property and leave it clean, tidy and ready for sale or transfer to a landlord.

What additional services do you offer to executors, solicitors and other professional organisations, which would assist in winding up an estate

If requested, we can drain down central heating and water tanks to prevent pipe bursts, or decomission the water services entirely. We can also isolate all electrical systems and secure the premises by changing the locks. To do this, we offer the services of a locksmith, CORGI gas engineer, plumber, and electrician. This is particularly important where the property is likely to be empty for a while.

What about items I wish to keep?

We are always happy to transport any items you wish to retain to a location of your choice.

I'm not in the UK at the moment. Can you help?

Yes, we are always pleased to assist with international enquiries and have all the necessary facilities available for individuals and companies requiring our services while abroad.

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