If you are the executor or administrator of an estate, you will need to calculate its value before you can apply for probate. This includes bank accounts, savings, pensions, stocks and shares, debts, life insurance policies, and more. You can simply contact the relevant organisations to find out the value of these assets. The most complicated part of valuing an estate is the property. This article will explain how best to go about getting a property valued for probate.
You might be able to value a property yourself without hiring a professional depending on a few factors. If you can estimate the property’s value and know that it won’t exceed or come close to the inheritance tax threshold, it should be quite safe for you to value the property yourself. To come up with an estimate, you might choose to search for the property on Zoopla, or for similar properties in the local area.
If you don’t trust your judgement and would prefer a more accurate estimate, it is possible to get a valuation from a local estate agent for free. If you choose to do this, it is a good idea to get a few valuations from different estate agents and take an average from those.
However, if you find that there is significant variation between the valuations, or that the value is very close to or above the inheritance tax threshold, you should consider paying for an RICS property surveyor to value the estate for you professionally.
If your property valuation comes close to or exceeds the inheritance tax threshold, HMRC might challenge it. This is because they want to ensure that you are not underestimating the value of the property to avoid inheritance tax. In a similar vein, if your property sells for significantly more than it was initially valued for, HMRC is likely to dispute your valuation.
In order to build up a strong case for your property valuation, the best thing to do is pay for an RICS property surveyor to do the valuation for you. However, it’s not worth doing this if you know that the property’s value won’t come close to the inheritance tax threshold.
If the property you are valuing is jointly owned, you should go about valuing it in the same ways that are listed above. However, on your probate application forms, you only need to include the value of the share that was owned by the deceased. For example, if you own 60% of the property, and your deceased partner owned 40%, you will only write 40% of the value of the property on the probate and tax forms.
If this sounds complicated or you do not feel you have time to value your loved one’s estate yourself, you might consider hiring a professional service such as Kwil for full estate administration. Our legal team would handle the valuations, probate application, and estate administration for you so you can relax knowing everything is being handled correctly and appropriately. If you would like a free quote or to know more about this service, please give us a call.