When someone passes away, valuing their estate is one of the first things to do as part of the probate process of sorting out their affairs.
Probate can be a lengthy and complicated process, depending on the size, value and complexity of someone’s Estate although it is made easier if that person has made a Will
Valuation of the estate could be considered to be one the most important functions that a personal representative performs. The proper calculation of an estate’s value will determine whether probate is required or whether there is any Inheritance Tax or Capital Gains tax to pay. Application for a Grant cannot go ahead until a valuation is complete.
It is vitally important for anyone in charge of a deceased estate to obtain a professional valuation of any property or land involved, from a Chartered Surveyor and Registered Valuer who has the knowledge and expertise to provide an accurate valuation, which can then be filed to HMRC.
The Chartered Surveyor in his/her valuation should give a description of the property’s, age, type and location. The state of repair should also be commented upon in general terms but it should be remembered that it is a valuation and not a survey.
HMRC are conducting approximately 9,500 investigations each year into deceased persons’ estates and beneficiaries and is challenging “guestimate” valuations. HMRC can and does impose fines of up to 100% of the additional tax liability plus the 40% liability payable. The average additional payments have been in the region of £24,600 for each incorrectly valued estate.
If the valuation has been undertaken diligently by a qualified valuer then HMRC will in most cases accept the figure and those in charge of the estate will not be contacted further.”
Executors could be at risk if they fail to take reasonable steps to value assets accurately and may be liable if the estate suffers additional penalties which could have been avoided if a professional valuation had been obtained. Ultimately it is the executor’s job to take steps to ensure that the correct information is supplied to HMRC
If you have lost a loved one and would like a quote for a Probate Valuation, please give Taylor Wilkinson Surveyors a call on 0845 463 8979 or visit our website for more information www.taylorwilkinsonltd.co.uk