An inside view of 1818 Auctioneers’ probate services
Our Assistant Manager, Auctioneer, and Valuer, Simon Thompson, provides an inside view of the probate service offered and delivered here at 1818 Auctioneers.
“One of the most difficult things anyone has to deal with is the loss of a much-loved relative or friend. Dealing with personal grief can be exhausting and has a great deal of impact on the strongest of people. So, when you factor in the stresses involved in dealing with a close relative or friends’ estate, guidance is welcomed and, when dealing with larger estates, necessary.
“If the deceased person owned very little, it’s unlikely that probate will be needed. This is known as having a small estate. However, it’s difficult to say exactly what constitutes a small estate, as there is no set limit. Every bank and financial institution has its own limit and its own approach to probate. So, you’ll need to confirm that probate threshold with the organisations holding the deceased person’s assets. This will determine whether or not it is needed.
“We are lucky to have a network of experienced and hardworking solicitors in our area who will guide you through the legal requirements. If required, we play a part in what can be a daunting experience. We take the stress out of valuing the physical contents of an estate or property. These are often referred to in legal terms as chattels, and they can hold great sentimental value.
“When we visit a property, we create an inventory of the personal effects and belongings, assigning prices that the items might be reasonably expected to reach if sold in the open market. This is carried out in accordance with the 1984 inheritance act. People face paying 40% tax on estates valued over £325,000, so it is imperative that we are accurate in our assessment. Any over-valuation on our part would cost our clients dearly, this is why we continuously monitor prices achieved and leave historical prices firmly in the past.
“It can be hard not to emotionally connect with the families of the recently deceased, especially as we quite often hear endearing stories as we work which resonate and stay with us. Conducting ourselves with discretion, compassion, respect, and trustworthiness goes a long way to making this process easier for our clients. Our sense of personal and professional pride lies in our ability to help, and do so with the utmost care.
“Once the probate valuation is completed, it is checked for any errors and then signed and sent to all relevant parties. Here at 1818 Auctioneers, we strive to have the valuations sent within a week of the initial visit. Our belief is that the quicker we can complete our small part in the process, the quicker the solicitors can finalise the estate and families can move forward.”