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There are many steps involved when preparing a property for probate. However, the most important step is valuing all assets for your probate application.

Have you located the last Will and Testament?


If you have not yet located a Will, your first step will be to go through all belongings to see if you can locate one or any paperwork corresponding to a Will. This may sound simple and if the person who passed away was a minimalist it shouldn’t be too difficult. However, if the property has a lot of clutter or the deceased was a hoarder you may find yourself in a difficult situation.


A Will determines who is entitled and must be followed correctly. If you do find a Will make sure the executors are contacted before proceeding any further. (if you need any help with this, we can also locate up to date contact details for you). You should always conduct an online Will Search with a provider such as Certainty for extra security if you do not locate a Will in the property.

Identifying all assets and liabilities

Going forward let’s say you are the executor or have been appointed to deal with the estate. The next stage will be to identify all the assets and liabilities of the estate. The best way to do this is by sorting through all belongings and paperwork in the property. (as mentioned above this can be fairly simple depending on the state of the property). You want to start by locating items of value in the property. These items could be from an original painting to a classic piece of furniture or maybe the deceased has a collection of stamps or coins. Items need to be valued by a professional for your probate application. While searching for items of value you also want to look out for any paperwork from banks and financial institutions. Whilst you are completing the searches in the property you will need to arrange for a RICS Surveyor to complete a valuation. This gives you the probate value of the property.

After you have located all items of value in the property you need to contact all financial institutions you have found paperwork for to get details of the funds held. Coinsiding with this, you will also need to contact all utility companies. If the property has a mortgage, you will also need to contact them to obtain a redemption statement.


Applying for a Grant and paying inheritance tax

Once you have obtained details of all the assets and liabilities you will need to declare the value to HM Revenue and Customs for them to calculate any inheritance tax that may be due. The threshold is currently £325,000, if the estate is less you can make your application directly to HMCTS Probate for them to process the Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration.


Why is having an accurate valuation so important?

The value of the estate will determine how much inheritance tax you need to pay, if any at all. Assuring all items are valued correctly will make sure you don’t overpay or underpay any inheritance tax.


Do you feel like you need a little help?

We understand that clearing a property, hoarded or not, can be a very distressing time both mentally and physically. Although you do not legally need to have the help a professional it certainly leviates the stress. Whether you need help from a member of our team, or want us to take over the clearance for you, contact us today and we will try our best to help.

We will always treat each home as if it were our own loved ones and make sure we provide you with the best service.


Contact us on 01843 808384 or email us at

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