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House valuation

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  • House valuation

    I am a beneficiary and wonder if I am entitled to know the valuation of my deceased mother's house before Probate is lodged. I am not an executor. My brother is the sole executor but he cannot handle it and passed it to a solicitor without consultation. My sister and I had to go to the solicitor to collect some sentimental items as my brother has changed the locks and will not meet us in person. We asked the question about house value and the solicitor would not tell us but was happy to tell us what they considered the house contents were worth £200!!!!!! My mother would be mortified as there is a new fridge freezer and new washing machine there which could be sold for that amount secondhand. Solicitor said no one would want to buy them. My sister and I have been frozen out by the remaining family even though we were my mum's carers until the end.

    I just want to know how we stand in getting information before Probate as the rest of the beneficiaries are being kept up to date but not us two. Any input would be appreciated. Many thanks in advance.
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  • #2
    Hi Poppy’s,
    sorry to hear of your issues.
    With property being sold for the purposes of valuing the estate either a chartered surveyor or several estate agent valuations are obtained. The house price at the date of death is the relevant figure for the probate application.
    As far as personal belongings and house contents are concerned unfortunately there is a balancing act that often has to be used. Of course everything we have has a value although fashion, quality and age play a big part in the valuation. We could sit on eBay for six months and sell every item and possibly achieve a larger sum but this has to be factored in as far as the time and cost of doing this against the possible gain.
    We all think our possessions are worth more than they usually are which is hard to accept particularly with newer items that we have bought. Generally a lawyer would ask an auctioneer to attend and value items they believe they could sell and if appropriate put those items into auction. The rest is generally cleared or donated to charity.
    it can be tough seeing the apparent waste but it can cost significantly more to try and sell every item.
    As far as obtaining info before a grant is obtained this is not something that normally occurs. The residuary beneficiaries are entitled to estate accounts once these estate has been administered but that is after the grant.
    If HMRC have any suspicions items such as houses have not been valued correctly then the Valuation Office will become involved and new valuations obtained if necessary.
    once the Grant has been obtained you can ask for an inventory and account to check figures but do bear in mind my comments about belongings.
    Hopefully that clarifies matters a bit for you.
    I am a qualified solicitor and am happy to try and assist informally, where needed.

    Any posts I make on LegalBeagles are for information and discussion purposes only and shouldn't be seen as legal advice. Any practical advice I give is without liability. I do not represent people on the forum.

    If in doubt you should always seek professional face to face legal advice.


    • #3
      Thank you Peridot. I did get a list of contents but find it confusing as a brand new washing machine which was installed this year could have a value of £20 and 2 plastic garden chairs £10?? In total There was only 12 items listed, no mention of tvs, modern sideboards, bedroom furniture etc just stupid things of no value at all and only items such as garden tools. All the furniture is in excellent condition but I guess executor does not value his mother's possessions and we are expected to view with a solicitor in attendance with executor if we want access to the house to decide if we want anything. Thank you for your comments.


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