Things you Need to Know About Applying for Probate – Post Covid 19 – Series 8

Continuing with our series about things we think you need to know about applying for Probate, and perhaps some of the practical tips that should be considered.

Remember that obtaining formal valuations of assets can be costly and challenging.

In some instances it is worth challenging the costs of asset valuations.

Valuations for example shareholdings, can be costly, but in our experience if laypersons are dealing with the sale of the shares, they are likely to do this through a stockbroker, and usually the stockbroker, if the portfolio is of a reasonable size, will waive a fee for the valuation, in anticipation of receiving instructions for the sale of the shares.

Please note that registrars to companies can charge, for paying over dividends that accrue whilst probate is being applied for. In our experience these can be as much as £50 or £70 a time.

Executors should note that any jewellery worth more that £1,500 needs a professional valuation, as do antiques, works of art and any collections which need to be listed separately on IHT forms. With less valuable items, you can provide an estimate, but HMRC may ask for further details, and you are statutory obliged to provide valuations, and answer the queries correctly.

If the value of the estate is well below the IHT threshold, the valuation of a property maybe achieved by checking recent sales for similar houses or plots, or advertised properties. The more expensive properties, a professional surveyor valuation will be needed – another area beset with delays and problems due to the lockdown.

Please note HMRC are entitled to ask for three valuations on any particular probate, and as previously mentioned in our articles, they are able to apply to the Local District Valuer, who will attend and give a formal valuation of the property,  report back to HMRC what they value the property to be, and will use this valuation as the valuation submitted for the Probate application, and the subsequent IHT calculations.

In current markets, shareholdings maybe sold at less than the original valuations. If this takes place within a year of the death, a claim can be made to HMRC to substitute the lower sales value, and claim an IHT rebate. However, this can only be made ‘where there has been an overall loss across all shareholdings sold during the year’.

Overpayment of inheritance tax, and the subsequent claims is subject to separate articles prepared by us, and put on our website.

We offer a service where, we will draft and provide the appropriate paperwork, for the application for the Grant of Representation to be made.

Please do not hesitate to contact to us if you have any queries on this matter.