There can be many reasons why you may want to sell a probate property. Perhaps it was recently inherited and you have no use for a second home. Or, you might need a probate property sale in order to share the proceeds around a number of family members. Either way, a probate property sale, like many other property proceedings, can be a bit confusing if it is not approached in the correct manner. What initial steps need to be taken? What documents will you need to have ready? How can you form a checklist to make sure that you are prepared well in advance? Let’s address all of these questions in more detail so that you can start off on the right foot.
Where to Begin with a Probate Property Sale: Valuing the Estate
Before any probate property sale can take place, you need to value the estate and all its contents. So, you will first need to compile a list of all assets and debts that were owned by the previous owner before he or she passed away. You should also try to make a list of any assets that were given away by the deceased in the previous seven years. These are known simply as gifts. Anything worth more than £500 pounds should be valued by a professional in order to get an accurate figure. You will then subtract any outstanding debts from this figure. Once again, it may be best to use the services of an expert so that no errors are made.
Addressing Possible Inheritance Tax
In the majority of cases, the subject of inheritance tax needs to be addressed during a probate property sale. This is a tax that will need to be paid if the total value of the estate exceeds £325,000 pounds. We should also point out that this tax is not paid if the entire property and its contents were passed on to the civil partner or the spouse of the deceased. In other words, a surviving partner will normally not have to pay any inheritance tax, although a son or a brother might have to (again, only if the value of the assets compared to the debts is greater than £325,000 pounds).
Obtaining a Grant of Representation
As well as taking care of any inheritance tax liability, you will also have to apply for a probate application form (PA1). Once you have obtained this document, it could be a good idea to contact the Probate and Inheritance Tax Helpline for guidance. The number is 0300 123 1072.
Once you have completed the form, you’ll need to send it to the Probate Registry. You will also need to include the inheritance tax information (if applicable) and an official copy of the death certificate. If there is a will attached to the property, three copies are also necessary. A processing fee of £125 pounds finally needs to be paid.
Then, you will need to make an appointment with a solicitor or at your local Probate Office. Here you will need to swear an oath that all of the information provided is accurate. Once these steps have been followed, you will finally be able to get on with the probate property sale.