Don’t make yourself a target for Inland Revenue Investigation
In this article Avery Associates talk about the risks of using unqualified probate valuers, and in view of the fact that the Inland Revenue are conducting countless investigations it is now crucial that as an executor you obtain an accurate professional RICS probate valuation of chattels and buildings.
The following list is both the questions you should ask and the answers you would expect from a professional firm of surveyors and valuers
1. Is the valuer RICS qualified so that his credentials can be checked with the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors.
2. The valuation should be carried out on an independent basis and there should be no conflict of interest ie: It would be very unprofessional, and a cause for concern, if the valuer makes any offer to purchase items from the estate.
3. The company providing the probate valuation should advise you of the appropriate auctions where the higher value or speculative pieces so as to raise as much money as possible for the estate
4. The written valuation report must be prepared correctly, detailing the chattels in the right format so as to conform with IRS guidelines.
5. The valuer must carefully detail all contents even if they have little or no value at all as a reference, and then kept on file for a minimum of 7 years.
6. Items with an individual value of £500.00 or over must be listed in the report separately along with any bequests if any, then the remaining items should be grouped together and valued as a lump sum.
7. Motor cars should also be valued separately stating their mileage and date of first registration.
8. It is expected of the valuer and good practice to ask the executors if their is any family division of the estate, as this may effect the preparation and layout of the report. ( This approach makes it easier to identify individual items and their value at a later stage).
9. The valuation company should be able to provide with the current IHT thresholds and other relevant information to assist you with your application.
10. The valuation should be prepared on official headed note paper stating the company details and their qualifications as valuers.
11. The valuers should be indemnified and insured against negligence, this is your safeguard ( It is compulsory for all RICS Surveyors and Valuers to be indemnified to be a member of The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors).
12. Finally, beware of the term “research time” it usually leaves you wide open to an inflated or high valuation fee, a good valuer should know the values without having to research them.
There are a few more, less significant factors to take into consideration when instructing a probate valuer, but this is a very good guide and if followed it is quite unlikely that you will have any problems while performing your executor duties
Avery Associates offer free advice and consultations – Call our probate section on 0800 567 7769