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Ask the Expert, Charlotte White of Balfours

What is a Probate Valuation?

Till Death Us Do Part

It happens to the best of us and all that is left behind is the evidence of our lifetime of work; our Estate and as with everything in life, nothing is free and that includes dying. 

On death, our Estate is taxed at a rate of 40% on anything over the £325,000.00 threshold – there are some reliefs available for various business and agricultural property assets.  But in general terms, if your Estate (including any property, land, stocks, shares, art, jewelry, cash etc.) is worth say £525,000.00 then £200,000.00 is liable to be taxed at 40% meaning that £80,000.00 of your Estate will be heading to HMRC (this may be subject to various other reliefs available).  So, if losing a loved one is not hard enough, you then have the paperwork to deal with and tax to pay. 

It is possible to carry out indicative valuations during lifetime but on death the value of your Estate property will involve a fully compliant RICS ‘Red Book’ Valuation.   Technically these are for the purposes of Inheritance Taxation but are commonly referred to as being ‘Probate Valuations’.

The valuation requires the Executors of the Estate to instruct a property valuation report to be completed on their behalf.  The valuation process follows the order of:

-        Written instruction received, agreed and confirmed;

-        Valuer physically inspects the subject property;

-        Valuer undertakes due diligence, desk top enquiries and gathers appropriate comparable evidence;

-        Valuer compiles report – normally c. 50 pages with appendices;

-        Valuer signs and issued the report to client (and legal representative).

The granting of probate can be long and arduous – obtaining a robust property valuation report in a timely manner can ease this process and enable the legal element to be dealt with more efficiently at what can be a difficult time for relatives.


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