Probate Property Sales
Going through probate can be a difficult time for most families and friends and it’s something we understand all too well. When you’ve been left a property in someone’s will, we know how hard it can be to decide on what to do with the property and are aware of the conflict you’ll face when deciding whether to sell or hold on to the property, but you won’t be alone – most people will want to sell the home quickly to avoid high maintenance costs and because of emotional reasons.
There will often be emotional connections to the property and things can be a little bit more complicated than a traditional sale which is why we provide a service specifically suited to probate sellers. We like to keep the sale of probate properties as simple as possible with completion and an exchange of contracts in as short a time as possible, usually within 56 days. There are no excessive agency commissions or fees to sell your home when you undertake our probate sales service either, so you have nothing to lose – we’re here for you every step of the way, no matter where in the United Kingdom the property is, whether it’s England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.
Whether you’re looking to sell your relative’s property or just obtain a valuation, we’re here to help.
What is probate?
Probate is the process of gathering a person’s estate after they have died (probate is called confirmation in Scotland). This include their property, money and possessions after they’ve died. You’ll be responsible for carrying out probate if you’ve been appointed as an executor of somebody’s will and you’ll have to gather the person’s assets and pay off any debts before distributing what’s left in accordance with the person’s will.
There are four stages to probate:
- Assess the value of the estate and the sale value of any properties in the estate
- Apply to the probate registry for a grant of probate
- Pay any inheritance tax due
- Administer the estate and distribute what’s left after the creditors have been paid off and arrange the sale of assets where appropriate.
You will have to wait for a grant of probate from the probate registrar if you are looking to sell a probate property. Typically speaking, you cannot sell a deceased person’s property before probate has been granted unless you’re on the title deeds already.
How long does grant of probate take?
Being granted probate can take as long as twelve weeks or as little as 2 weeks, depending on the urgency of probate (such as whether there is an impending court case) and whether the estate is taxable (if not, probate can be granted in around 6 weeks, where the estate is taxable, it will take around 12 weeks usually).
How do I get a grant of probate?
For probate to be granted, you need to work out the value of the estate and you’ll have to prepare a number of documents which may be in the deceased person’s files, with their solicitor or you may have to request them from various organisations, these documents will include:
- The original will of the deceased
- Their death certificate
- Their national insurance number and identification (driver’s license, passport)
- Copies of bills and details of any outstanding debts and creditors, including credit cards, loans and county court judgements
- Statements from bank or building society accounts
- Property title deeds
- Mortgage information
- Details of any other assets including shares, savings, pensions or bonds, and;
- Funeral expenses
Will I have to pay more tax if the property sells for more than it is valued for?
If the property sells for more than the valuation given in probate, you may have to provide evidence as to why this has happened – you may have made renovations which increased the sale value of the property or you could have had two offers for different amounts where you chose the higher offer or it could be that the property was sold at auction and auction attendees simply bid more for the property than the valuation.
Can I pay less tax if the property sells for less than it is valued at probate?
The short answer is no but, if the property sells for less than the valuation price within four years of the date the previous owner died then you can apply for a tax rebate for the difference and HMRC will usually refund you the overpayment in tax paid.
Do I have to pay capital gains tax?
No, you wouldn’t usually need to pay capital gains tax if you sell within two years of probate being granted. However, if the house is not sold until some time after the grant has been issued, the value of the property may have increased above the date of death value, and this could lead to the executors incurring a CGT liability. For the year of death and the following two years, the executors have a CGT allowance of £11’100 (for 2016-17).
If the increase in the value of the property after deduction of the costs of sale exceeds the CGT allowance, the executors may be able to save tax by appropriating the property to the beneficiaries before exchanging contracts on the sale, however, we are not tax advisors and therefore, before acting on this information, you must seek your own independent advice on the matter from a qualified and authorised tax advisor.
When you sell probate property, it is recommended you seek three independent valuations and we can provide one of these if the probate property is in Leicester. We also have a database of investors who specialise in purchasing probate property and numerous sales channels to ensure you achieve the best price in the shortest space of the time possible.
Harry Albert Lettings & Estates eliminates the cost, time and stress associated with selling probate properties and we encourage anyone to get in touch if they have any questions about selling at probate or require any assistance. We have partner agents up and down the country ready to assist you in achieving the right sale value in an efficient timescale, just fill in the form below to request a callback: