There’s quite a lot to do if someone talks you into valuing an estate and clearing a house for probate. If you are out of luck, you may have to do a hoarders house clearance too, but that’s another story for later.
If you have the time and patience for this, then you’ll find loads of information on social media about how to go about it. You can generally trust what the government says (although they do change their minds). And for the rest, we recommend you stick to providers that know what they are doing.
Main Steps in Valuing an Estate and Clearing a Deceased’s House
The government’s primary interest lies in collecting estate duty owed. The amount of this depends on the value of the assets the executor declares. Therefore, if you are in that role you do need to make sure you do this diligently. And can substantiate all your decisions as you complete the following three main tasks:
Identify all the assets, beginning with what’s in the house. Most of these will be material possessions, although at the same time you need to be on the lookout for documents pointing to assets beyond what you find in the rooms.
If you find the house in a chaotic state, you may need help from a compulsive hoarder house clearance specialist.
Your first and primary goal is to find the deceased person’s last will and testament. And any other clues concerning their wishes how they wanted the assets disposed. You have to go along with their wishes even if you do not agree, because this is your legal responsibility.
Scrutinize every piece of paper you find for information about their assets. Banks and utility providers accumulate a surprising amount of data about their clients. However, you will need a letter from the solicitor handling the deceased’s estate before they will share what they know.
Perform a rough valuation of all the assets you find, as a first pass to valuing them for estate tax purposes. You will be happily off-the-hook if you believe the total value of the property, money and possessions is less than the threshold of £325,000.
However, if the estate is worth more than that, then you could be well advised to seek advice regarding a professional valuation. This will cost you nothing except a little time, because the deceased estate will foot the bill.
The third step in these preliminaries is to report the value of the estate, whatever you believe it to be to HM Revenue and Customs. You may like to check with someone else, just in case you overvalued something as a misunderstanding.
Practical Considerations for Valuing an Estate and Clearing a House
Clearing a deceased person’s home and possessions is often physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausting. The situation becomes more challenging if you are faced with a compulsive hoarder house clearance, where stuff is piled on top of itself without a thought for order.
You can’t just get stuck in, in this pandemic of Covid disease. You need to take precautions to protect your own health. And that means a full face mask, disposable gloves, and loads of alcohol disinfectant for your forearms and hands.
We recommend you tackle the home room by room, just as we do when valuing an estate and clearing a house for probate. Separate stuff out into three categories. Namely (a) valuable items, (b) useful things charity shops can sell, and (c) stuff to send for recycling / landfill.
What Happens If You Decide You Need a Hand?
You may start feeling desperate at this stage. What ought you to do if you don’t have the time, or simply can’t cope? You know you don’t legally require assistance, but is this how you would like to spend the next few weekends?
Avery Associates are registered valuers with an undisputed reputation for complete probate valuations, and property clearance solutions. You can trust them entirely to treat the deceased’s belongings with respect. And to search diligently for any items of value if they exist.
Please call telephone 0800 567 7769, or mobile 0208 640 00 44 if you would like to explore this opportunity further. You may rest assured of our very best service at all times.
Further Information About Probate Valuation