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Probate Valuations

A probate valuation is one of the more unfortunate types of property valuation that is undertaken by a Chartered Surveyor owing to its very nature.

At Peter Barry Surveyors, we know that the immediate period following the death of a relative or close friend can be extremely upsetting. Pragmatic thinking is, however, necessary so that the deceased’s affairs can be resolved as quickly as possible and all the intended financial beneficiaries can receive their share.

A professional probate valuation is an essential first step in this process.

Why do you need a probate valuation?

After a family member has passed away, their estate – money, property, possessions – will need to be valued so that a Grant of Representation (the legal right to deal with the estate) can be obtained.

The purpose of carrying out a professional probate valuation is to:

  • ascertain an accurate value of the estate left behind by the deceased
  • enable the executor to assess whether there is sufficient value in the estate to cover any liabilities left by the deceased
  • calculate how much (if any) Inheritance Tax is payable on the deceased’s estate

If you are unsure where to begin, a good starting point on how to value the estate of someone who passed away can be found on the Government website here.

Peter Barry Surveyors regularly undertake probate valuations to assist with probate for all types of property in London and within the M25 area.

Inheritance Tax (IHT)

Inheritance Tax is only payable if the estate was worth more than £325,000 at the date of death. This is called the Inheritance Tax threshold or ‘nil rate band’. No tax is due if the estate is valued below this amount. The nil rate band is set and often varied by the Government, so there may be different thresholds for previous years.

Married couples and civil partners can make gifts of any value to each other during their lifetime that are not subject to Inheritance Tax. This is known as ‘spouse of civil partner exemption.’ An estate is also IHT exempt if the deceased left everything to their wife, husband or civil partner who is permanently a resident in the UK.

The executor of the Will or administrator of the estate typically has to pay any Inheritance Tax due by the end of the 6th month after the date of death, otherwise interest will be charged on the outstanding amount.

Inheritance Tax can be a confusing business to the layman, often adding to the emotional trauma experienced after the loss of a loved one. A general overview of current Government regulations can be viewed here but it is strongly advised that you take additional professional advice from a reputable Probate Solicitor, Accountant and Chartered Surveyor, as needed.

At Peter Barry Surveyors, we have a large, multidisciplinary team with more than 10 years’ specialist surveying experience in London and the surrounding area.

Professional Probate Valuations

Since any estate can be subject to IHT, a qualified Chartered Surveyor and RICS registered Surveyor will need to carry out a probate valuation, being instructed on a clearly impartial basis. This type of report is usually referred to as a Red Book Valuation.

There’s an important distinction to be made between a Surveyor’s valuation and one given by an Estate Agent. An Estate Agent will give a market valuation of the property with the intention of attracting custom – the purpose is to value the property for sale. Estate Agents are not bound by the same rules and regulations as Surveyors, who will face recourse if their probate valuation turns out to be incorrect.

Even if it is your intention to sell the property, you will still be required to submit a Surveyor’s Report with a professional probate valuation in order to obtain probate. Probate will need to be granted so that the ownership of the asset can be transferred to the beneficiaries – no sale can take place without probate.

If the eventual sale price of the property is found to be noticeably different to that of any probate valuation, this is likely to be picked up by HMRC and the Surveyor will have to justify his valuation or revise the figure if necessary.

Contact Us

As long established specialist Chartered Surveyors with an expert surveying team at our disposal, Peter Barry Surveyors have many years’ experience in all aspects of residential surveys, property valuations, lease extensions and party wall matters.

We have a comprehensive understanding of all matters relating to probate valuations and a wealth of experience of carry out such valuations on a regular basis. If you wish to discuss any probate valuation matter with us or arrange for a valuation of your property, please give us a call on 020 7183 2578 or send an email. We look forward to being of assistance.

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