What is Probate?

‘Probate’ is the name generally given to the process of administering someone’s estate when they die. This process can include making an Inheritance Tax return to HMRC, finalising income tax affairs and pensions, collecting in the estate from banks, building societies and selling assets, paying money due to beneficiaries, making any gifts of items to beneficiaries and preparing accounts for the estate.

Probate can take anywhere between a few weeks to a year, depending on a variety of factors including whether the person left a will, the size of the estate and if the will is contested. Anyone who needs to sort out the affairs of someone who has died and needs to access their bank accounts, investments and other assets in order to pay their debts, Inheritance Tax and distribute their estate require probate in the UK.

The whole process can be extremely daunting to anyone who has not dealt with probate affairs, especially where property is involved. This is where it is advisable to instruct a Chartered Surveyor to assist your lawyer or Tax adviser in the valuation for probate of building and property assets. At Eyesurvey we have dealt with numerous probate cases over the years. Please call to find out how we can help.

Probate Valuations

When a loved one dies, you will need any property assets valued for the Application for Probate, or if there is no Will – “Intestate” – for the Letters of Administration, now known as the Grant of Representation.

As the total value of the Estate may become subject to Inheritance Tax, or Capital Gains Tax, your local estate agent cannot deal with that property valuation. The figures will be checked by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC), to see they are accurate and not set simply for tax avoidance.

If the deceased only owned a share in the property, their share will be reduced by a proportion of, say, 10% to allow for the notional difficulty of selling such a share, even if that portion will be passed on to a relative under any Will or intestacy. We understand the complexities of administering probate terms, and the very personal feelings of our clients when they lose a loved one. We take time with you to provide a professional and caring service.