Thu 05 May 2022
The passing of a loved one can be hard enough at any time. Sorting out the estate shouldn’t cause you further grief but at times it can feel quite stressful. To help we’ve put together a little guide on how to deal with selling a property in probate.
What is probate?
When a person passes away they will likely leave behind an ‘estate’. This could consist of money, property or investments.
‘Probate’ is the legal process which you have to complete before being able to handle any estate the deceased has left.
To be able to deal with the estate you must first get a grant of probate. This is a legal document that names any executors of the will or administrators if there is no will.
How do you get a grant of probate?
The first part of applying for a grant of probate is identifying assets owned by the deceased. This could include any property, investments or money. You will also need to locate any ‘liabilities’ so that you can then estimate the value of the estate. You will also need to identify any parties that will benefit from the estate either through reading the will or if there isn’t one by using the rules of intestacy.
The second part of applying is submitting and paying (if applicable) inheritance tax to HM Revenue & Customs. You will need to make sure that the tax return is filled in even if no tax is due to be paid.
Then you will need to apply to the probate registry for a grant of representation. This will be the document confirming who has the legal power to administer and distribute the estate.
Once this grant has been approved you will then be able to move forward and sell or transfer any property. You are able to put the property on the market before the grant has been approved however you will not be able to complete the sale until the grant is given.
Once the sale of any assets is complete, you will need to make sure that any debt is paid off (from loans or utilities).
What to do before selling the property?
There are a few things that can be sorted whilst you wait for the probate to complete.
Make sure the property is secure, close and lock any windows, doors and outbuildings.
Remove any and all valuables from the property. Making the property as secure and as ‘low risk’ as possible will make sure the property will stay safe during the process.
Make sure the property is insured. If anything were to happen to the property, having insurance will give you peace of mind.
Who can help?
A solicitor will be able to help guide you through the full process of probate and should be able to assist with any problems or queries you have
How long does it take?
Usually between 9 months to 1 year.
We hope this helps you to deal with the estate in the least stress-free way possible. If you have any further questions or need help with an evaluation approximation get in touch with one of our team here.