Probate valuations need to be carried out by Executors and Administrators as the first step in making the application for a grant or letters of administration. Our estates team have specialist experience in this area, call us on 0800 612 6105 or 020 8150 2010.
What needs to be valued?
You`ll need to make a list of all the deceased`s assets, this includes:
- money in bank or building society accounts
- property and land
- businesses and business assets
- investments such as stocks and shares
- personal chattels, including jewellery, art, antiques
- furniture, fixtures and fittings
- motor vehicles, including cars, motorcycles, boats
- life insurance policies
- pensions that include a lump sum payment on death
- assets in a trust from which the deceased benefited
- foreign assets including overseas bank accounts, property or shares
- any asset gifted 7 years before death
- an asset gifted at any time where the deceased kept an interest, e.g. a house they gave away but lived in rent free
Once you`ve listed the assets, you should have determined whether or not the estate will be excepted (liable for inheritance tax). You`ll either have to complete IHT205 or IHT400 forms, declaring the value of the estate to HMRC. These are extremely in depth, especially IHT400 which is a complete tax return for liable estates. At this point you may wish to seek advice or assistance from a professional probate company.
IWC are available 7 days a week on 0800 612 6105 until 10pm, or follow the link to find out more about our fixed fee probate service
What is Open Market Value?
With regards to valuations, you will be concerned with the assets OMV, the price it might reasonably fetch if it was sold on the open market at the time of the transfer of that asset. This represents the realistic selling price, as opposed to the insurance or replacement value. In other words; an item is worth what someone would be willing to pay for it. In terms of property, this is in accordance with the RICS Red Book guidelines.
Jointly Owned Assets
These are treated differently depending on the nature of the asset and who the co-owner is. For example, when dealing with a jointly owned home, co-owners could be joint tenants or tenants in common. In the first instance, under the right of survivorship, ownership will pass directly to the survivor and the share will not form part of the estate. While in the latter case, the share of the property will be included in the estate. If a joint share is owned by someone who is not the deceased`s partner, a 10% deduction in value is allowed due to the difficulties that can arise in selling a half share.
Probate Property Valuation
The most valuable assets in an estate are usually the family home and any investment property so it`s important to get it right. To ensure you get an accurate valuation you should use a RICS Chartered Surveyor. The fees for this can be deducted from the estate later. A professional market valuation will take into account market conditions and the condition of the property and necessary repairs.
It is extremely important to ensure your house is not overvalued in the current climate as this will result in unnecessary inheritance tax liability. Also, HMRC are more likely to accept a valuation if it is presented by a professional. If you find you have over or under valued a property, you must contact the Inland Revenue immediately.
House Contents Valuation for Probate
You`ll find that some assets are relatively simple to value, for example, it is fairly easy to find out the open market value of a car. Others are more difficult especially personal chattels and household items. Untrained individuals often have a tendency to overvalue belongings; this could result in increased tax liability. That`s why it`s recommended to use a professional valuations company.
This information will enable you to complete inheritance tax forms IHT407 and 408 in relation to personal belongings. It is a requirement to obtain professional valuations on any individual item estimated to be worth over £500, this could include; art, antiques, jewellery or collectible items so you may need to contact a specialist.
Some personal representatives prefer to use a clearance company. A specialist in probate clearance will value everything in the property and arrange for its sale or disposal, either to charity or re-cycling plants. They will professionally clear and clean the property, ready to be put on the market or sold. This can save executors the time and emotional stress of having to arrange everything themselves which can be impossible, especially if you don`t live in the area.
For more help with probate and valuations, contact IWC by email or call 0800 612 6105.