How to value the estate when applying for probate

The first thing you’ll need to do as part of the probate application process is value the assets of the estate. You’ll need this information before you can complete the forms and send off your application to the probate registry.
First make a list of the deceased assets; this may include;
Property or land
Businesses or business assets
Stocks and shares
Life insurance policies
Pensions that include a lump sum payment
Assets in a trust from which the deceased benefited
Foreign assets
Personal chattels
Furniture, fixtures and fittings
Motor vehicles
Any asset gifted up to 7 years before the death occurred
An asset gifted at any time in which the deceased kept an interest
Once you’ve compiled the list, you’ll need to obtain the open market value of each item. This means you should value it at a price it would realistic fetch when sold on the open market. It is recommended to use a professional valuations company. It is common for individuals to overvalue assets which can result in increased tax liability.
Property- is often the highest valued asset that makes up an estate, so it’s important to get it right. A surveyor will take into account market conditions and the state of repair of the property, to ensure it is valued accurately.
Shares- find out their value on the date of death.
Chattels-you’ll need to get a professional to value any items such as antiques, art or jewellery that are worth more than £500.
Joint assets- you’ll need to calculate the value of the joint owners share. In the case of property, find out the size of the deceased’s share. If the co-owner is not the spouse or partner of the deceased, deduct 10% because of the difficulty in selling a part-share.
The next step is to list all the liabilities of the estate;
Funeral expenses
Outstanding mortgages
Credit card balances and overdrafts
Unpaid tax
Household bills
The estate value can be calculated by subtracting the total value of liabilities from the total value of assets. You’ll need to keep a record of this, and store any paperwork or receipts.

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