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Does Probate need to be granted before we can sell the property?

Whilst you can market properties before Probate is granted, you cannot sell the Property unless your name is on the deed i.e. you are the deceased’s spouse. Most people advertise the property whilst the application for Probate is going through. The seller must be Granted the Probate before the sale can be completed.


How can I protect the property before it is sold?

It can take up to 12 weeks to obtain Probate. Therefore, you should think carefully about how to protect the property in the wait for it to be sold; ensuring its properly protected is part of administering the deceased’s assets.

You should ensure that the property and any valuables are insured, particularly because previously property insurance may become void upon the deceased’s death. Reach existing insurers to confirm the position and prepare to take out additional insurance if necessary.

Make sure that the home, if no longer occupied, is properly secured. If it contains any especially valuable items, you could remove them to keep them safe elsewhere. If you can’t account for all the keys, we would highly suggest you change the locks, we can also arrange this for you.

I don’t have a copy of the Will. How can I obtain one?

We can do an extensive search of the property to try and locate the Will for you. If we are unsuccessful you can conduct a Certainty Will Search which will contact all solicitors in the area to locate the Will.

If no Will can be located at all this will fall to the Law of Intestacy. We work with a few companies who have years of experience and will be able to assist with this.


What happens when a property owner dies?

The deceased will specify a named person to deal with the estate (or the deceased’s next of kin if there is no will). They are responsible for the legal affairs and will often obtain ‘probate’ (where there is a will) or ‘letters of administration’ (no will), which enables them to act as the personal representative. Probate also enables the personal representative to transfer or sell the property.

If you are named executor or you are the Next of Kin it will then become your duty to make sure the property is secured, insured and well maintained while you obtain Probate. To obtain Probate you will need certain valuations and documents in the property which will assist your application i.e. bank statements and policy documents. We provide a service where we can search the property for all the documents you will require.


What if I can’t locate paperwork relating to a bank account?

We can complete an asset search for you. We will write to banks and financial institutions to see if the deceased had an account.


What if the Property is unregistered?

We would advise that you search the property to locate the original deeds. If these can’t be located, you should contact the deceased’s bank to see if they hold them for safe storage.

If you still can’t locate anything you will have to complete a first registration to register the property.


Do I need to pay Inheritance Tax before the property can be sold?

You will have to pay the Inheritance Tax before a Grant of Probate is issued. However, you can pay the Inheritance Tax on assets that take time to sell in equal annual instalments. You will need to pay the Inheritance Tax in full when the assets have been sold.


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