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Probate Proerty - Molae Proerties - picture of a Will

What are the things you should look out for if you need to sell a probate property? Maybe you’ve inherited a property from a relative or perhaps you’re acting as the executor of a will. In either of these cases, it’s likely that you’ll need a Grant of Probate before you can sell. There are a number of problems that can occur along the way. So, what are the most frustrating situations associated with a probate sale? More importantly, how can they be avoided or  at the very least streamlined?

Common Probate Property Problems

The first step you need to take in a probate property sale, is to have the property independently valued. Although this is not a difficult process, you might encounter issues if you are required to pay inheritance tax. Inheritance Tax is payable if the total estate of the deceased, including all the property, money and possessions are valued at over £325,000 pounds.

Another potential pitfall could be the time it takes to get all the necessary Letters of Administration. These are the documents issued by a court granting an individual the legal right to begin the sale process. It may be necessary to prove the validity of a will if there is one. If there was no will, then things can be even more challenging.

Another common mistake is simply not having all of the necessary documentation ready in advance. You should keep in mind that the normal time frame for obtaining an independent valuation is around six weeks. Make sure that you have all the paperwork and approvals you need or you may need to start the whole process again.

What are the Major Issues in Probate Property Sales

Your first step should be to check the title deeds to see if there are any restrictions listed. In the majority of cases, properties held by “joint tenants” will require no grant of probate should one pass away. However, if the property title is shown as “tenants in common” then you’ll need to obtain a probate. This is often highlighted by the term restriction immediately beneath the signatures on the title itself.

Assuming that a grant of representation is necessary, a probate application form known as the PA1 needs to be obtained. This process could be slightly complicated, to it may be advisable to seek the help of a solicitor.

One final issue (and potential problem) could occur if a property was held in a single name and the owner has died. Who has legal rights to this estate? This is when what is known as a letter of administration is required. This document gives a beneficiary (who could be the administrator) the right to sell the property and any other assets. Once again, this process can be a bit convoluted. Speaking with a solicitor is the best option.

These are some common issues associated with obtaining a grant of probate in order to sell a probate property. Knowing the major snags and ways that they can be dealt with will help you get a quicker sale and when it is needed the most.

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