When a person dies, they typically leave behind a tangled mess of money, property, possessions, bonds, shares and debts. Collectively, the deceased person’s effects are known as their estate, and according to UK law, inheritance tax is sometimes due on the value of the estate, before it can be passed on to beneficiaries. This is where a probate valuation comes into play.
In the UK, a grant of probate, also known as a ‘grant of representation’, gives an executor the legal right to deal with the money, property and possessions of the deceased person. The deceased’s estate cannot be inherited by its beneficiaries before its total value was established and any inheritance tax paid, which is why probate valuation is so important.
Note on the term ‘probate’: Many online resources are American websites that deal with probate in the US legal system, which is a bit different to how it works here. In the USA, probate refers to the validation of a will, rather than the legal right to access a deceased person’s estate. GOV.UK has some concise pages explaining what probate means in the UK. A good place to start is their Wills, probate and inheritance webpage.
So how much will a probate valuation cost you?
This question depends very much on whether you choose to carry out the valuation yourself, or bring in professional help. If you choose to seek out the services of a professional probate valuer or solicitor, which is highly advisable in all but the most clear-cut of cases, then you may need to pay a percentage of the total value of the estate in fees. This may range from between one and 5% depending on the provider.
The table below is by no means a definitive price guide, but aims to show indicative probate valuation fees based on estates of different values.
Some probate valuation specialists also charge a flat rate fee and/or an hourly rate. Some providers also charge VAT, which should be factored in as an additional 20% on top of the charges mentioned. With a range of costs available on the market, is worth shopping around to find a specialist with the skills, experience and rates that match your requirements. Remember that is important to get probate right, as failure to do so may result in an HMRC investigation, leading to increased stress and expense down the line.
For free and impartial probate valuation advice, give our Probate Specialist Jeffrey Avery a call today on 0800 567 7769