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Probate - chicken and Egg, value estate first or put probate form in first to do that?

(19 Posts)
AlPacinosHooHaa Thu 23-Mar-17 13:37:16

Not sure how this works, person has property, some cash and shares.

Do I need to put probate form in first - to then go on and do all this ( I am executor) or do I need to try and tot it all up first?

Also with shares how on earth would I do that? I know one company deals with the bulk of the money but the rest are small....different companies? Do I need to get property valued?

kath6144 Thu 23-Mar-17 14:23:49

You need to do it all first - the probate form needs all the figures.

Property - just get 2 or 3 estate agent quotes and go with average. If there are any possessions worth anything, you may need to get those valued too. All my mums stuff was old and only thing worth anything was jewellery. I just put an overall total amount in for possessions.

Shares - if you know which and how many, you can get the unit price from internet and just calculate total of each share.

Cash - you need the banks to send you a summary of cash in accounts (assuming you know where all the money is)

It isnt that hard, have you looked at probate form to see what you need to include? Will it be over IHT limit, if so you have to pay tax up front, so may want fairly accurate figures. We were below, and unlikely to get near to it so we were as accurate as could be but with some estimates.

FinallyHere Thu 23-Mar-17 14:37:35

If you are the executor, and there is a will, it's pretty straightforward. You contact everyone probably starting with the bank, send them a copy of the death certificate, ask fir a valuation for probate. Make sure you have look everywhere for evidence of savings and investments, including pensions. As PP said, a couple of estate agents ( i did two plus an online valuation and took the average of three. Shares as PP said, look up the closing price on the day of death or opening price on the first working day thereafter.

I found it convenient to keep a spreadsheet if all the people to contact ( get details of their bereavement service, they will all be very helpful) and used it to tot up everything then transfer those totals to the probate form. Remember to leave a row for funeral services, including flowers and transport. There may be other fees (including probate) which must be included.

Its a pretty straightforward piece of admin., it is important to keep records so you could explain your working if called upon to do so. Its a good thing to do, to sort someone's estate for them.

AlPacinosHooHaa Thu 23-Mar-17 18:08:27

Ok wonderful, So I was under impression this would be quick thing but actually, between persons passing on and getting all necessary figures for probate its going to be a few weeks isnt it.

So how does one pay for funeral in mean time?

AlPacinosHooHaa Thu 23-Mar-17 18:10:26

And what if I cant find all shares, i think I have found main bulk - of hte main ones but what about the little ones?

Shall I guestimate? Person was disorganised etc...hard to trace everything. I suppose car also put into probate?

moonbells Thu 23-Mar-17 18:12:49


FourFlapjacksPlease Thu 23-Mar-17 18:21:21

Banks should be informed immediately and accounts will be frozen, however they will meet funeral expenses from the account of the deceased before probate is settled. The funeral director will be able to advise you further on this.

I did a standard letter and sent it to every institution (banks, pension providers, shares etc) with copies of the death certificate asking for value of assets at date of death. Most require original death certificates so worth getting a few to avoid waiting for one to come back before you send it again.

The forms can be arduous to complete but the probate helpline are very helpful.

It's a really important job to be able to do for somebody you cared about. I found it strangely rewarding as it was a way of continuing to care for my step dad after he died.

Im sorry for your loss.

FourFlapjacksPlease Thu 23-Mar-17 18:23:59

just seen car question - yes all assets are included. Joint bank accounts don't count IIRC though, they pass directly to the joint account holder I think.

I just went through all the paperwork i could find and scanned bank statements for dividend payments and pension payments. Some places I contacted were old accounts that had been closed but just wrote to everyone I could find paperwork for.

whataboutbob Thu 23-Mar-17 18:32:01

Just going through it too. The bank was happy to release funds for Dad's funeral and wake.
However today I went there with an invoice from the surveyor who is valuing his property for probate and they refused to pay so I have had to do so from my own account. The eventualities they will pay for is quite narrow and in this bank's case at least does not include any probate obtaining expenses.

AlPacinosHooHaa Thu 23-Mar-17 19:35:27

I don't understand bob, you mean they would pay for funeral but not surveryor?

Its so confusing as I am beneficiary so as long as assets cover debts...

AlPacinosHooHaa Thu 23-Mar-17 19:40:43

The thing is I have mountains of paper work here shockanyway It wont come over ITH threshold.

AlPacinosHooHaa Thu 23-Mar-17 19:41:34

do they check you - if I miss a few hundred pounds of shares I didnt know exist etc? will I get done for fraud, maybe round them up?

AlPacinosHooHaa Thu 23-Mar-17 19:42:58

sorry one more question, do you tell estate agents its valuation for probate?

thesandwich Thu 23-Mar-17 19:45:00

Sorry you are having to do this. The probate helpline are very helpful and you can use estimates for smaller amounts particularly if you are not close to inheritance tax thresholds.
London stock will give you values for a set date for shares.
Also you don't have to go to the probate offices to swear the oath- I googles commissioners for oaths and found a local solicitor who did it for £5 in 5 mins. Good luck.

thesandwich Thu 23-Mar-17 19:49:26

Don't worry that you can't find everything. Use what you know, and do take advice. Not sure if it would make a difference to the agent.
With shares, some of fil's were with equiniti an umbrella company who deal with some of the privatisation type shares- gas etc. You could call them to see if your df had any with them.

AlPacinosHooHaa Thu 23-Mar-17 20:41:08

thank you !!

kath6144 Fri 24-Mar-17 07:01:27

The probate office can audit estates but given no IHT then I dont think it would matter if you initially missed some shares, as long as you find paperwork eventually and get the sharres sorted after probate.

Only if any additional shares would take the estate over IHT limit would it be a problem.

Incidentally you dont have to sell shares after probate. They can be transferred to beneficiaries. Holding companies such as Equiniti have relevant transfer forms.

My parents worked for BT and British gas so had lots of free shares at privatisation. DB wasnt interested in them so I had all of them and he had extra money equivalent to share value.

You dont have to tell estate agents that the valuations are for probate, esp if house being sold anyway. Mums house was on market and under offer before we signed for probate.

whataboutbob Fri 24-Mar-17 09:18:55

The estate agent will be hoping that you are going to sell the property through them. It's really up to yuor discretion whether you tell them it' s for probate and whether you intend to sell or not.
If you are close to IHT it is seen as more robust to use a surveyor. If you are not close then it doesn't matter, you could even use rightmove! (that's what the helpful guy on the probate helpline told me).As for surveyor fees, yes, the bank would not pay for them but paid for the funeral out of dad's account. they are v strict about what they agree to pay for.

AlPacinosHooHaa Fri 24-Mar-17 19:26:34

am so appreciate of the help and had two estate agents out today I told both for probate, one said doesnt matter free anyway - the other tried to charge me 200, I said no - had discussion about value ie no where near IHT and they also came out for free.

So should have two rough valuations and was also able to discuss - renting property out.

Sent POA form to share place to get idea of main bulk, balls are rolling but now my worry is that the property my relative inherited he brought off his sister - but there was court issues at that time! so now I am wondering who is on the deeds!

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