The majority of executors that have instructed us to carry out either a property or house contents valuation for probate, expressed great concern in ensuring that those valuations are accurate and going to be provided by a reputable and experienced firm using RICS surveyors that have a good reputation with Inland Revenue
Those concerns are very well justified due to the increasing number of investigations into probate matters and estate administration following IRS targeting and investigation of IHT. Over the last two years in and revenue you have raised over £100 million in penalties and tax accrued from challenge and revaluations by the DV
Taking this into account and bearing in mind that the executor is legally responsible to obtain and provide accurate values of Property and chattels for submission to IRS for inheritance tax calculation. So it makes good sense to instruct a firm of professional valuers preferably RICS qualified to provide the required valuations
Executors should also avoid the risk of investigation by not choosing firms or house clearance companies that offer budget valuations and have little experience and may compromise your position with inland revenue. These type of valuations carried out by non professionals and are likely to be rejected by Inland Revenue.
A written valuation for probate purposes has to be laid out in the correct format and in accordance with Inland Revenue guidelines. It should reflect a realistic open market value which can only be provided by an experienced valuer who is constantly aware of current market values. Those values should be unbiased and not prejudiced in any way i.e. possibly a house clearance company may show a conflict of interest and could be looking to purchase the house contents and provide low values in their own interest
The valuation report should be laid out methodically and detail items of £500 or over separately along with special collections of stamps books or coins if present, it should also include personal possessions collectables, jewelrey, motor vehicles, boats, electrical items and general household goods and anything else that forms part of the estate. The report should be presented professionally in a bound folder for submission to the Inland Revenue and have the correct wording on the opening page
Avery associates provide over 1500 valuations a year and to date have not had any reports rejected by Inland Revenue. We work for over 100 law firms along with a large number of legal professionals accountants and private individuals. Our sole aim is to make the whole process of valuation for probate as seamless as possible
Jeffrey Avery MD