How Long After Probate Is Granted Can You Sell A House?

How Long After Probate Is Granted Can You Sell A House?If you are the executor of someone’s estate and there is a house to be sold, you may be asking yourself “How Long After Probate Is Granted Can You Sell A House?”.

Before you can do this you will need a Grant of Probate or, if the deceased did not leave a Will, a Grant of Letters of Administration. We take a look at how this works in practice and the timescales involved.

At Lockings Solicitors, our probate solicitors deal with estate administration, to include applications for probate and conveyancing. We understand that this will be a difficult time for you and we always deal with matters sensitively.

We can advise you on issues such as Inheritance Tax, intestacy and property sales and apply for a Grant of Probate or Grant of Letters of Administration on your behalf where necessary. We offer a free initial chat so that you can ask us any questions you have, such as how long each stage is likely to take and when you should start to market a property.

Our costs are clear and competitive and we will give you an accurate estimate at the outset. We have flexible availability to fit in with your needs and we will make sure we keep you updated as to progress throughout. 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.

Obtaining a Grant of Probate to sell a house

Where an estate includes a property that will be sold, it will be necessary to obtain a Grant of Probate or Grant of Letters of Administration. This is the legal authority that the estate’s personal representatives will need to deal with the sale and the rest of the deceased’s assets.

Before the application for a Grant is made, you will need to work out whether any Inheritance Tax is payable and, if it is, pay this to HM Revenue & Customs.

Calculating Inheritance Tax

The first step is to value the estate. You will need valuations of all of the deceased’s assets as at the date of death, including savings and investments, cash, property, cars, furniture and valuable items. The amount of any money owed by the estate, such as a mortgage, bills and credit card balances should be deducted to give a net value.

To obtain valuations, you will need to write to asset holders and creditors with a copy of the death certificate and details of the deceased’s account with them. You can obtain professional valuations of valuable items where necessary.

You also need to find out the value of any gifts made by the deceased in the last seven years of their life, as Inheritance Tax may be payable on these on a sliding scale, depending on how long ago they were made, if they exceed the annual tax-free allowance of £3,000.

The first £325,000 of an estate is exempt from Inheritance Tax. Tax on the portion of the estate above £325,000 is generally payable at 40%, unless this is left to a spouse or civil partner.

If the deceased’s spouse or civil partner died before them and did not use their allowance of £325,000, the unused portion of this can be transferred to the deceased’s estate, making a total possible allowance of £650,000.

You can use the government’s online calculator to find out exactly how much Inheritance Tax will be payable.

At the same time that you are valuing the estate, you should also ask HM Revenue & Customs to provide you with an Inheritance Tax reference number. You will need to do this at least three weeks before you intend to make a payment.

Paying Inheritance Tax

Once the estate has been valued, there are several Inheritance Tax or IHT forms to be completed, depending on the assets held by the deceased.

The estate’s executor or administrator needs to pay Inheritance Tax before a Grant of Probate or Grant of Letters of Administration will be issued.

It is common for payment to be made from the deceased’s money, if their bank or building society agrees to this. Payment will be made by the bank or building society directly to HM Revenue & Customs. You will need to supply the bank or building with the necessary details, including the Inheritance Tax reference number that you requested.

The executor or administrator will need to submit the IHT forms to HM Revenue & Customs at the same time as requesting payment.

Applying for a Grant of Probate or a Grant of Letters of Administration

It will take HM Revenue & Customs around three weeks to confirm to the Probate Registry that the Inheritance Tax has been paid. They will still be processing the forms after this time and could come back to you with queries, but in the meantime, you will be able to apply for the Grant of Probate or Grant of Letters of Administration.

You will need to send the application form to the Probate Registry together with payment of the application fee, an official copy of the death certificate and the original Will if there is one.

How long does it take the Probate Registry to issue a grant?

Although the official guidance is 16 weeks, The Probate Registry can often take takes several months to process an application. However, you can put a house up for sale in the meantime if you are ready.

Completion of the sale cannot take place until the Grant of Probate or Grant of Letters of Administration is received, but the conveyancing process will also take time, so you can start this around the time you make your application if you wish.

How long does it take to sell a property after someone dies?

It will usually take at least six months to be in a position to complete a property sale. In many cases it is longer, up to a year and sometimes more. Provided a buyer can be found (and that is usually not a problem with probate properties) and the probate application is made without delay, it should be possible to sell within a year.

Contact our East Yorkshire probate solicitors

If you are acting as an executor or an administrator and you would like help in obtaining a Grant of Probate or Grant of Letters of Administration and dealing with the winding up of the estate, we would be happy to help. We also offer conveyancing services for probate property sales.

We will provide a clear and comprehensive costs estimate at the outset for both obtaining a grant and dealing with conveyancing. 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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