Lothian property buyers work with a lot of executors when
they are needing to sell a property quickly.
We’ve written this guide as a way of explaining what you
need to do when administering a property sale in probate.
As an executor you’ll have a Will that will hopefully set
out the property or properties and the ownership.
Most people will have one home and if this is held in just
the name of the deceased then you’ll need to apply for a grant of probate.
This document is used as a method of proving to
organisations such as banks and building societies that the will is the final
version and that they can work legally with the executor to sort out the
As an executor you can’t distribute any of the assets of the
deceased until you have this grant of probate.
How do you get a grant of probate?
When someone passes on the first thing to do will be to
register the death. This needs to be done within 5 days in England and Wales
and 8 days in Scotland.
The executor will then need to access the will and work out
the value of the estate.
This will entail working out what assets are included and
where they may be, who owns them (are they wholly owned by the deceased or
jointly owned) and also what debts there may such as utilities, bank loans and
The valuation can’t be exact at this point, because for
example, you won’t know what a house may actually be sold for, but it does need
to be pretty close so it’s best to get professional valuations to avoid
The grant of probate can then be applied for online here and you’ll need to make an official
statement of truth.
There will be some costs involved in applying for a grant of
probate and you can check out our handy fee calculator app here.
At this point, an inheritance tax return will need to be
completed and any tax due should be paid. If there is cash in the estate then
the bank will have a direct payment scheme that will allow this.
Once the taxes have been paid then HMRC will issue a receipt
that can then be passed on to allow probate to be granted.
Bear in mind that a grant of probate could take up to 12
How do you get a valuation?
Some valuers will charge you to provide a letter stating
what the approximate value of the house was at the point the deceased passed
Naturally this has to be approximate because nobody knows
what the eventual sale price will actually be.
Once you have the valuation, you can apply for probate and
work out the inheritance tax due.
When you have the grant of probate
Once a grant of probate is obtained the Executor has full
discretion as to how to proceed with the sale of the asset and at this point
you will need to decide how to dispose of the property.
However it is good practice to keep the beneficiaries informed
about how the process is proceeding.
Now it may be that you have a beneficiary who will want to
make an offer to buy the remaining share of the property and if so then all
well and good.
But if not then you need to choose a method.
You have an obligation to sell the property at the open
market value but that having been said there is always the time/price issue.
The problem is that if you want to sell something really
quickly then you’ll need to be prepared to bend on price, alternatively if you
wait long enough then you can achieve market price.
If you find that you have had to wait three months to obtain
the grant of probate then you may well also find that the beneficiaries aren’t
going to be pleased to wait another 3-6 months for the sale to be concluded!
How Lothian can help
The first way that Lothian Property Buyers can help will be
in providing you with a totally free valuation.
This will have a clear open market price based on actually
achieved sales and current property condition.
The valuation will also have an offer to buy the property which
will clearly show the discount required and an undertaking to pay the fees
Before the grant of probate HMRC will expect inheritance
taxes to be paid.
This causes a problem for a lot of executors in that estates
can be asset rich and cash poor.
Lothian can advance a proportion of the final sale value
conditional upon the cahs being used to pay taxes and in anticipation of the
sale being completed.
Finally Lothian will pay the value of the house to the
executors as quickly as 10 days from receiving a copy of the probate meaning
that the executor can forget about selling a house and can concentrate on
administering the rest of the estate.
Contact us now to discuss your particular situation and let’s
see if we can help.