Clearing Out A House After Bereavement Following Grant Of Probate
Probate House Clearance
It is normally okay to remove and sell items from a property before probate is granted if the estate clearly falls beneath the IHT threshold (currently £325,000) but even in this case it is a good idea to keep a record of sale proceeds in case there are any later questions or disputes between beneficiaries or family members or even HMRC.
But great care must be taken to avoid any problems that might arise if the estate is close to or over the IHT threshold and in this case an accurate valuation of all household furniture and personal possessions (chattels) by a reputable professional valuer is critical and will avoid what could well be a difficult position and scrutiny by HMRC Officials and as to how the values had been calculated by an executor who clearly has no credentials to do so. It could be quite likely that executors could receive penalties for negligence in this matter and a possible investigation of the whole estate causing lengthy delays in the winding up process.
The other important reason for a professional valuation is so that individual items that may have been bequeathed, gifted or written into the will as a wish list can be identified and correctly distributed in accordance to the deceased final wishes.
Arranging A House Clearance After Grant Of Probate
In the majority of cases we have already been instructed and carried out a professional probate valuation of the house contents as well as valuing the property itself for probate which has been accepted easily by HMRC. At this point we engage our probate house clearance department then we carry out a very simple process.
After family members and beneficiaries have removed bequests or any items they wish to retain we simply add up the probate value of the contents remaining and offset that figure against the cost of labour. Hypothetically if the value of the house contents was £500 and the probate house clearance fees were £1500 we would subtract the £500 from the £1500 which would leave a balance of £1000 to pay.
Having said this, all probate house clearance jobs are different and on rare occasions the value of the house contents can exceed the cost of labour therefore our client will be paid the difference. But generally because of high labour and disposal costs the probate house clearance fees exceed the value of the contents leaving a outstanding bill to pay.
Sometimes it can be quite costly if the house has a considerable amount of unwanted furniture and rubbish and that has to be processed and disposed of. In cases of compulsive hoarding where the property has abnormal amounts of rubbish and clutter the labour costs can be fairly heavy but we always carry out a very professional job and the properties are cleared effectively and professionally with the utmost discretion and the end result is a clean, fresh and respectable home ready to sell, transfer or hand back to a landlord
How Long Does It Take To Do The Probate House Clearance
All probate house clearances vary and the time taken completing them, for instance there are some jobs that can take as little as three hours or half a day other jobs a whole day, and in extreme cases it’s been known for us to take 5 to 10 days to clear a property that is very heavily furnished and amassed with furniture and clutter. These type of extreme house clearances (compulsive hoarding) are becoming more common for us as we gain a reputation for handling them but generally a normal probate house clearance with a normal amount of content will take one to one and a half working days.
This is a general guide but accurate information is available if you simply contact our office when your job will be tailored specifically to meet your needs. If the property contains valuable items that are worthy of auction we can arrange their sale at auction on your behalf and as we are experienced and trained valuers it is easy for us to identify anything of high-value that may do well in auction. We are happy to arrange this service and assist you fully in its course. You may also want furniture to be transported and relocated to beneficiaries or family members and in this case our removal team are able to carry out your instructions fully to by delivering to any location in the UK.
What Happens To Low Value Items And Rubbish
Any low value items or items with no value at all but are safe and good enough to re-use will be found good homes or donated to charity. We recycle and re-use and give away free as much furniture as possible so we do our best to make sure that anything that has a use gets reused and make every effort to distribute as many items of household furniture and effects as possible within the community. We feel that the family and the deceased would like to know that their belongings went to a good place where they will be appreciated.
How Is The Waste And General Rubbish Disposed Of
Inevitably there will be material resulting from a probate house clearance that has no practical use and has to be disposed of by way of recycling it it back to its original form and as a last resort all remaining material will be transported to a landfill site where it is ethically disposed of in an environmentally friendly manner and in accordance with UK waste regulations. We are proud to say that in the last five years we have managed to reduce the amount of material taken to landfill from 15% per annum to 10% as our operation improves as we find more efficient ways of re-using and recycling household contents and material. Avery Associates will continue to make every effort to reduce the amount of carbon produced and household waste going to landfill.
For further information relating to probate house clearance or probate valuation call Jeffrey Avery directly on 0208 640 0044