How to value a house for probate

How To Value A House For Probate

How To Value A House For Probate

If you are dealing with an estate administration, you will need to value any property owned by the deceased. We take a look at how to get a house valuation for probate and why this is important.

At Lockings Solicitors, we deal with estate administration including obtaining a Grant of Probate and probate property sales. We can advise you on how to value an estate and calculate the amount of Inheritance Tax that will be payable, ensuring that the estate takes full advantage of all available allowances.

We understand that this is likely to be a very difficult time for you and your family and you will find our probate solicitors to be sympathetic and helpful. We are always happy to talk through issues with our clients and if you ask us to deal with an estate administration, we will keep you updated as to progress and work proactively to avoid delays wherever possible.

We offer a free initial chat so that you can ask us any questions you may have and discuss your situation and the probate and estate administration process. 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. We represent local clients in Beverley, Hull and York as well as those from across East Yorkshire.

Why does a property need to be valued after a death?

When an estate includes a property, you will need to obtain a Grant of Probate in order to sell this or, if the deceased did not leave a valid Will, a Grant of Letters of Administration. This is the legal document that gives the personal representatives of the estate the authority to deal with the deceased’s assets.

To enable you to apply for a grant, it is first necessary to value the estate and, where necessary, pay the Inheritance Tax. To find out how much the net estate is worth, you will need to value all of the assets and subtract all of the debts and liabilities.

Assets include property, cash, savings, investments and valuable items such as cars, furniture and jewellery. Liabilities include money outstanding on a mortgage, tax that is owed, credit card debt, utility bills and loans.

Once you have a net figure, you can establish whether Inheritance Tax is payable and, if so, how much this will be.

How to get a house valuation for probate

The estate’s personal representative, either the executor or, where there is no Will, the administrator, is responsible for valuing the estate.

To value a property, you can either use an informal valuation or obtain a formal probate valuation.

It is often advisable to obtain a formal valuation in case HM Revenue & Customs or the estate’s beneficiaries query the asking price or the price ultimately paid by a buyer. A formal valuation may be particularly recommended if the value of the estate is close to the Inheritance Tax threshold.

Formal property valuation for probate

If you have a formal valuation, you will be able to show that you have discharged your duty to act in the best interests of the estate in establishing how much the property is worth.

You can request a formal property valuation for probate purposes by asking a surveyor from the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, or RICS, to prepare a ‘red book’ valuation. The RICS red book sets out guidance for surveyors and the required standards of the Institute for valuing property. This includes taking into account issues that may affect the property such as rights of way and considering comparable properties in reaching a figure.

The value provided will be as at the date of death, as required by the Probate Registry.

Informal property valuation for probate

To obtain a less formal valuation, you can ask local estate agents to carry out a valuation for probate purposes. If you ask three different agents, you can use an average figure.

It is open to you to value the property yourself by looking at similar properties that have sold recently. If the estate is near or over the Inheritance Tax threshold, it is preferable to obtain a more formal valuation.

Obtaining a Grant of Probate to sell a house

Once the estate has been valued, you can move on to the next step which is establishing whether Inheritance Tax is payable and, if it is, calculating how much is due. If you ask us to represent you, we can do this on your behalf.

There are several allowances that can be taken into account which could reduce the amount due. Inheritance Tax needs to be paid before an application can be made for a grant. If the deceased held enough money in a bank or building society account or in National Savings & Investments to cover the tax, then it is usually possible to arrange for this to be used.

If money is not available to pay Inheritance Tax, for example, because it is tied up in property which needs to be sold, it may be possible to pay in installments. We can approach HM Revenue & Customs to arrange this.

Once Inheritance Tax has been paid and a receipt forwarded to the Probate Registry by HMRC, the application for a Grant of Probate or Grant of Letters of Administration can be sent to the Probate Registry. The processing time for this can be substantial as the Probate Registry has a relatively high workload. If no queries are raised, we could receive the grant in around two or three months, but this can be longer if the Registry is experiencing delays or if issues arise that need to be dealt with.

Once the grant has been received, the property can be marketed for sale.

We deal with both estate administration, including obtaining a grant, and probate conveyancing, meaning we are able to offer a full service. For information about the costs involved in dealing with probate, see our probate pricing guide.

Contact our East Yorkshire probate solicitors

If you are dealing with the estate of someone who has died and you would like to speak to us, we offer a free initial chat. This will give you the opportunity to ask us any questions you may have. You can call 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. As well as helping local clients in Beverley, Hull and York, we also act for clients from across East Yorkshire.

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