Handling property inheritance: valuation & home clearance after someone dies

When a family member dies, you, as the inheritor of their property, will have a large job on your hands. As well as informing friends and relatives and making funeral arrangements, you will need to have the deceased’s property valued and cleared. This is a difficult task at a difficult time, and it is understandable that you may not want to deal with solicitors and the taxman or sort through your loved one’s property during this period. Unfortunately, this is all part of the process. Here is a look at what you need to do, and how you can make it easier.

Get a probate valuation of the property

If you are specified in the deceased’s will as an executor— someone who can deal with their estate—you will need to apply for a grant of probate from the probate registry. Once this has been approved, you will need to look into a probate valuation in order to ascertain exactly how much the property is worth. This will determine how much you will inherit, and whether this inheritance will be taxable or not. If the property is worth more than £325,000, you will have to pay 40% inheritance tax on this value. If you are planning on selling the property and its value increases between you acquiring it and selling it, you may also be liable for capital gains tax on the difference.

The value of the property is worked out not only from its market value, but from the probate value of the house contents (known as goods and chattels). Probate valuation involves determining the resale value of these items, as they are deemed part of the assets of the estate.

In order to get a probate valuation of the property, you will need to enlist a professional valuer. Here at Clearance Solutions we offer an expert probate valuation service. This will involve an experienced, qualified and independent valuer visiting your property to assess the the value of its contents. We will send you a report of our findings within 24 hours of this visit. For more information, visit our probate valuation service page.

Have the property cleared

House clearance after someone dies is another fundamental part of the process, as whatever you decide to do with your loved one’s home, you will need to clear the property of possessions that are no longer needed. This means you will have to sort through your loved one’s personal belongings. It will likely be an emotional process, and you may not feel like doing it straight away, but don’t worry about needing to take your time with this. Banks or lenders tend to be sympathetic to this kind of situation, and inheritance tax doesn’t have to be paid for up to 12 months. If you feel like you just can’t face it, give yourself some time and don’t feel like you should be rushed. You might also want to enlist someone who can help you through the process.

You should sort possessions into items that you want to keep, items that you want to sell or donate, and items that you want to throw away (after they have been valued). Make sure you set aside valuable possessions like jewellery, antiques and paintings and discuss with your family whether they should be sold or kept. If you and your family members can’t decide about who should keep what, set aside these objects until the end, at which point hopefully emotions have settled. It is also important that you set aside all important financial documents, including wills, bank statements, insurance forms, receipts and all other sensitive documents (some of these you might want to shred).

Once you have sorted out what you no longer want to keep, you will need to make sure that these items are disposed of. If there is an abundance of possessions that need to be cleared, it is worth getting a clearance company to do this for you. Here at Clearance Solutions, we provide a house clearance service to do just this.

Our service is cost-effective, as the resale value of each item will be taken into account of what we charge you. We can clear all types of household items, from furniture and electrical goods, to junk and bric-a-brac, and can pick it up from any location on a property. We also ensure that the service is environmentally friendly by either recycling the items we take or donating them to good causes. For more information, please visit our house clearance page.


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