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The importance of obtaining a full survey when ascertaining the probate value of a house

Helen Vorley, F.CILEx Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives in Astle Paterson’s Wills & Probate department, discusses the importance of obtaining a full and comprehensive valuation when ascertaining the probate value of a house.

Helen said “HM Revenue and Customs allow executors who sell properties within four years of the date of death to reduce the inheritance bill where the actual sale price turns out to be less than the value the executor said the property was worth when they applied for probate.

However, it does appear that, in practice, HMRC limit access to this reduction somewhat – if a property is sold for less than 75% of the original probate valuation then HMRC may appoint the District Valuer to advise on the best price achievable at the date of sale.   This is to prevent the system from being abused where there is suspicion of a sale at an undervalue.”

“The approach by HMRC highlights the importance of obtaining a full and comprehensive valuation from a qualified valuer when you apply for probate.

Indeed, in our experience a full Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (R.I.C.S) valuation will offer a good degree of protection from an investigation by HMRC should the property sell for significantly less than its probate value” Helen concluded.

Should you wish to discuss matters further then please contact Helen Vorley of Astle Paterson’s Wills & Probate department on 01283 531366 or by way of email at hvorley@astlepaterson.co.uk.

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