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All you need to know about probate valuations

by Iain Mason

Published on 5th February 2021

Our guest blogger, White Horse Surveyors, looks at property valuations for probate/inheritance tax and why they are important.

What is a probate valuation?

probate valuation

When a family member or friend dies and leaves property to you, you will need to get a valuation of the property even if you aren’t selling it, in order to complete the Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) Inheritance Tax form. You must obtain this before you can get a ‘grant of representation’, which means that you will have legal ownership of it.

Property is usually the most valuable part of any will. It is for this reason that the professional and impartial advice of a chartered surveyor can be invaluable during this difficult and distressing period. 

Why instruct a chartered surveyor to value the property?

It’s heavily advised by HMRC to instruct a Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) approved chartered surveyor to carry out the valuation of the property for probate. This means that the property will not be over-valued which could make it liable for inheritance tax.

HMRC is much more likely to accept a valuation that has been provided by a professional, especially if the value is over £200,000. If they believe that the valuation is incorrect, penalties can be applied on top of the extra inheritance tax, so it is in your best interests to get it right first time.

How do I get a probate valuation?

Contact a chartered surveyor and instruct them to carry out a probate valuation. You will need the following information:

  • Date of death
  • Name of deceased
  • Proof that you are the executor, or
  • If you are inheriting the property but not the actual executor, you will instead be required to pass on the details of the executor to the surveyor. Often executors are lawyers, but can be a family member or friend who will keep you informed on the progress of the valuation.

While the property is going through probate, it is likely that the property will be uninhabited. If this is the case, the property must be covered by unoccupied home insurance – it is the executor’s responsibility to organise this.

White Horse Surveyors is the UK’s largest independent, residential surveying company and provides a valuation service for probate. It has a wide network of RICS regulated surveyors covering most of England, Scotland, and Wales. Services include RICS Home Buyer Reports, RICS Building Surveys, Private Valuations and Home Reports for Scottish Property.

For more information about Optimum’s wills and probate service, please get in touch with our Swindon wills and probate team.

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