Do I Need To Have Probate To Sell My Mother’s House?

Do I Need To Have Probate To Sell My Mother’s House?After the death of a parent, the job of clearing and selling their home usually falls to their children. This is often a very difficult time, both on an emotional and a practical level. We explain the legal process that needs to be followed when the time comes to sell the home and answer the question “Do I Need To Have Probate To Sell My Mother’s House?”.

At Lockings Solicitors we understand how hard it is to cope with the loss of a loved one. Our estate administration lawyers are sympathetic and approachable and if you instruct us to help you, we will always do all we can to make the process as easy as possible for you.

We represent executors and administrators in dealing with the winding up of estates, to include obtaining probate and selling property. We have extensive experience and we always work proactively to ensure the administration is concluded as quickly and efficiently as possible.

If you have questions, we offer a free initial chat so that you can discuss your situation with us and ask us what you need to know. You can ring us on 01482 300 200, email us at welcome@lockings.co.uk or fill in our Free Online Enquiry and we will call you back promptly.

Do I need probate to sell my parent’s home?

If the estate includes a property that needs to be sold, you will need to obtain a Grant of Probate or, if the deceased did not leave a Will, a Grant of Letters of Administration.

A Grant of Probate gives legal authority to the executors who are named in the Will to deal with the estate administration.

If the deceased did not make a Will, their estate will pass under the terms of the Rules of Intestacy. These rules set out who is entitled to inherit the estate and it is usually one of these beneficiaries who will apply for a Grant of Letters of Administration appointing them as the estate administrator.

How do I get probate to sell a property?

You will need to apply to the Probate Registry for a Grant of Probate or a Grant of Letters of Administration. There are several steps that need to be gone through in order before an application can be sent:

1. Register the death

2. Calculate the net value of the estate

3. Work out if Inheritance Tax is payable

4. Fill in Inheritance Tax forms and pay Inheritance Tax if necessary

5. Fill in the Probate Registry’s application form

1. Register the death

A death should be registered within five days at the Register Office. This can be done online or in person. You can buy copies of the death certificate at a cost of £11 each and you may want to purchase several as one will need to be sent to asset holders and other organisations where the deceased had an interest.

2. Calculate the net value of the estate

The next step is the value the estate. You will need to find out the total value of the assets that the deceased held at the date of their death and subtract the total value of any money owed.

Everything of value should be included, such as cash, money in bank accounts, insurance policies, investments, property, furniture, cars and jewellery.

You will need to send a copy of the death certificate to asset holders and request a figure for the holding. Property and cars can be valued by comparing with similar recent sales or, where this is not possible, by obtaining a probate valuation. Valuable items can also be professionally valued where necessary.

3. Work out if Inheritance Tax is payable

Calculating whether Inheritance Tax is payable can be complicated as there are some exemptions and differing rates in some circumstances. Broadly speaking, it is not payable on the first £325,000 of an estate. It is usually paid at the rate of 40% on the portion of the estate over that threshold, unless this is left to a spouse, civil partner or charity.

If a spouse or civil partner died first and did not use all of their £325,000 allowance, then the unused portion can be transferred to the deceased’s estate. This can give the deceased an allowance of up to £650,000.

If the deceased made gifts of more than £3,000 per year in the seven years before their death, these may need to be taken into account and Inheritance Tax paid on a sliding scale, depending on how long ago they were gifted.

Once you have the figures available for the value of the net estate, you can use an online calculator to work out how much is due.

4. Fill in Inheritance Tax forms and pay Inheritance Tax if necessary

There are several Inheritance Tax or IHT forms to be filled out and submitted to HM Revenue & Customs. Which forms you need to complete will depend on the assets held by the deceased. By way of example, Schedule IHT405 should be filled in to give details of houses, land, buildings and

interests in land held by the deceased. Form IHT400 is the Inheritance Tax account which lists the schedules you may need to complete.

Once you have completed the forms and calculated how much tax is payable, you need to arrange for this to be paid to HM Revenue & Customs. If the deceased held sufficient funds in a bank or building society account, you can ask for money to be sent directly to HMRC from the account to cover the tax.

You will also need to send all of the forms to HMRC.

5. Complete the application for a grant

Once you have submitted the tax forms and arranged for the tax to be paid, you will need to wait for around 2-3 weeks before you apply to the Probate Registry for a grant. This will give HMRC the chance to process the payment and confirm to the Probate Registry that this has been done.

To make an application, you need to fill in a form PA1P for a Grant of Probate or PA1A for a Grant of Letters of Administration. You will need to send the original Will and any codicils as well as an official copy of the death certificate and payment of the application fee.

How long until probate is granted?

The Probate Registry usually take several months to process an application. It is also likely to take a number of weeks for you to obtain all of the valuations that you need. This means that you can expect a grant to take several months depending on how quickly you are able to apply.

Putting together all of the figures and filling in the forms can be time-consuming and if you would like to sell a property as soon as possible, you will need to deal with this aspect promptly, chasing asset holders where necessary and completing the forms as soon as the figures are available.

If you do not have the time to devote to this, you can ask a probate solicitor to take on this on your behalf. At Lockings Solicitors, we routinely make applications for grants and we always work proactively to avoid delays wherever possible.

We can calculate the amount of Inheritance Tax payable, ensure the correct schedules are completed and make a timely application to the Probate Registry.

When can I sell a house in probate?

You can put a house on the market before the Grant of Probate or Grant of Letters of Administration has been received. Because finding a buyer and going through the conveyancing process will take time, the grant will usually be received by the time a buyer is ready to exchange contracts or shortly after.

To avoid holding matters up unduly, it is usually advisable to wait until an application has been made to the Probate Registry before actively marketing the property.

Contact our East Yorkshire probate solicitors

If you are dealing with the estate of a loved one and you would like help applying for a grant, we can assist. We will give you a clear costs estimate at the outset and answer any questions you may have.

Our conveyancing solicitors are also able to deal with probate property sales so that you have a complete service if required. You can ring us for a FREE initial chat on 01482 300 200, email us at welcome@lockings.co.uk or fill in our Free Online Enquiry and we will call you back promptly. As well as helping local clients in Beverley, Hull and York, we also represent those from across East Yorkshire and beyond.

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