‘Probate’ describes the legal process for managing the estate of someone who’s passed away. This usually includes property which must be valued as part of the probate process. Usually, an estate must be worth £10,000+ in order to go to probate.
For anyone new to the process, it can seem difficult and confusing, especially during a time when you may be grieving. To help make things as clear and straightforward as possible, we’ve created a guide to property valuation for probate, telling you everything you need to know as you begin the process.
What is probate?
The probate confirms that a will is valid and determines who has the authority to manage the deceased person’s estate.
Why do I need a property valuation for probate?
When someone dies, inheritance tax must be paid as a percentage of the estate’s value, and the amount must be accurate to avoid potentially severe consequences down the line.
How is the probate value determined?
Probate value is calculated in line with the Inheritance Tax Act 1984 as an open market value on the date of death. It is determined in such a way that the HMRC will accept and they can use it to calculate the tax due.
Who arranges probate and who carries out a valuation?
It is the responsibility of the personal representatives of the deceased to arrange probate. Part of this is organising a probate valuation. The figure must be accurate and that is where a trusted professional can help. Chartered Surveyors, such as the team at Trinity Rose, are trained and experienced in determining probate valuations which can be submitted to the HMRC.
Can you live in a house during probate?
During the process of probate, you may live in the house if you were already doing so when the owner died.
If you want to move in after probate starts then you’ll need permission from the executor of the estate to do so.
Can you sell a house during probate?
If all the beneficiaries of the estate agree, the house may be put on the market before probate is completed. However, you won’t actually be able to sell the property until probate has been granted i.e. the personal representative is given legal authority to take control of the estate and assets.
What if the house sells for more than the probate valuation?
If the house sells for more than the probate value then you may be asked to pay additional tax. On the other hand, if it sells for less then you may be able to claim back overpaid tax.
Either way, it’s worth obtaining an accurate probate figure to avoid these kinds of complications.
Get in touch
Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of what a property valuation for probate is and why accuracy is important.
If you’re facing the probate process and need an accurate, professional probate valuation, please get in touch. Our team of RICS Chartered Surveyors have years of experience in this area and will be happy to answer all your questions/provide a quotation.