What is a probate valuation? | Complete Guide 2023

A probate valuation is valuing a property so that inheritance tax may be calculated. Often this will be initiated by the executor of the Will. The executor is ordinarily a family member or a third-party-appointed professional such as a lawyer or accountant.

What is Probate?

Probate is a legal definition and refers to the process carried out when someone dies. The process starts by obtaining a “Grant of Representation” from the Probate Office. Once received, it gives the applicant authority to access the deceased parties’ assets and divvy up the estate. 

Probate also proves a Will, if there is one. Essentially the probate office agrees that the Will is valid and will serve to execute the deceased person’s wishes effectively. 

Probate is in place to protect the beneficiaries. Without it, there would be no recourse or accountability, the deceased’s wishes would not be met and financial institutions would not know where to release the assets and to whom.

Finally, probate allows the courts to check that the Will is valid and the most recent version. Toward the end of someone’s life, they often amend their Will. Probate allows the courts to check that the executed Will is the correct wishes of the departed.

When is probate valuation needed?

A probate valuation is where the property of a deceased person is valued. Whether a parcel is being sold or not, it needs to be valued. A property needs to be valued as part of probate to establish its value relevant to when the asset is passed on as part of a will. 

What is the valuation date?

A valuation date is when inheritance in the form of assets or capital is valued. The market value is determined to be the best price you could realise if the property/asset was sold on the open market. The market valuation is the date that specifies when you must make the revenue service aware by way of a return, and tax must be paid.

What are the different types of probate?

There are three different types of probate, all with their own caveats.

Grant of Probate

A “Grant of probate” is a legal document that confirms the executor(s) have the legal right to obtain, sell or distribute the deceased party’s assets. 

Grant of Administration Intestate

In the instance that an individual dies and there is no retrievable will, then a Grant of Administration Intestate is required. The person who is entitled to receive 

Grant of Administration with Will Annexed

A Grant of Administration with a Will Annexed is a legal document issued by a probate court when an individual has died leaving behind a valid will, but there is no executor named in the Will, or the named executor is unable or unwilling to act. The grant allows an individual, known as an administrator with the Will annexed, to administer the deceased’s estate according to the terms of the Will.

The administrator with the Will annexed is responsible for collecting and valuing the deceased’s assets, paying debts and taxes, and distributing the remaining assets to the beneficiaries named in the Will. They must also file the Will with the probate court and provide proof of their appointment as administrator.

The administrator with the Will annexed has many of the same powers and responsibilities as an executor named in a will. Still, they need to have the authority to make decisions regarding the distribution of assets with court approval. This is because the court must confirm that the Will is valid and that the administrator follows its terms.

Obtaining a Grant of Administration with Will Annexed can be complex, and it is essential to work with an experienced solicitor to ensure that the process is carried out correctly. This can help to avoid potential legal challenges and disputes and ensure that the deceased’s assets are distributed according to their wishes.

It is important to note that the Grant of Administration with Will Annexed only applies to assets that are subject to probate, which means assets that are owned in the deceased’s name alone and not assets that are transferable by right of survivorship or assets that have a named beneficiary.

Is a Grant of Probate Always Required?

A grant of probate is ordinarily required. The reason is that assets left behind by the deceased need to be legally divided or inherited; the grant of probate has legal significance because it ensures the division of assets is wished of the dead.

An executor is required so that where one or more parties stand to benefit from the deceased assets if a conflict arises, then the executor can make a unilateral decision deciding the outcome.

An executor is usually assigned by the deceased; often, if there are several children, then one of the children may be designated. If an executor is not given, the courts may select a third impartial arbitrator to be appointed. 

Often the third party will be a working professional, such as a solicitor, accountant or similar.

What taxes apply to probate?

Capital Gains Tax (CGT)

If you inherit an asset during probate, then if at some point you dispose of that asset, you will be liable to pay capital gains tax.

It will be considered that you have owned the asset since the date of death of the person you inherited it from. The cost to you is the market value at the date of death, not the value when you dispose of said asset.

Capital Acquisitions Tax (CAT)

CAT is a tax that is applied to both gifts and inheritances. You may receive gifts/inheritances up to a specific value during your lifetime without using CAT.

Once you exceed the tax-free limit, you will be charged at the current rate (33%)

Probate Tax

Probate tax existed for any death which occurred before December 2000. This tax implication has since been abolished

When do beneficiaries receive their inheritance? 

Beneficiaries of a will can only receive their inheritance after the grant of probate has been issued, all assets have been liquidated and collected by the executor or executors, and finally, all liabilities, including any taxes, are paid. In the most straightforward cases, e.g. a will is not contested, and assets are readily available, it will still take roughly 9 – 18 months for the beneficiaries to receive their inheritance.

Can a House Be Sold in Ireland Before Probate is Granted?

The sale or conveyancing process can begin on a property before probate is granted, but closing will not be possible until it is formally granted. 

Although this may seem onerous, the amount of time it takes for a house sale to complete and the amount of time straightforward probate concludes are very similar. Therefore many sellers opt to run the two processes in tandem.

Being sale-agreed on a property whereby the Grant of Probate is delaying the conclusion of a transaction can be a benefit as, on some occasions, it can help speed up the granting of probate.

What documents are required?

Several documents are required to process probate, the most pertinent of which is the Will of the deceased, contact details of all the beneficiaries to the estate, the Death Certificate, valuation of the property at the time of the deceased’s death, the personal information relating to the dead, details of any debts held including funeral bills and finally a complete list of assets in the estate, including the title deeds etc.

Can I get a free probate valuation?

Yes, it is possible to get a free probate valuation for a house during probate. Some reputable estate agents, such as Leonard Keenan Wilson, will provide a free probate valuation and advice on how best to proceed with the sale.

Probate House Valuations

Leonard Keenan Wilson has helped countless homeowners buy and sell their properties while achieving their maximum sale value. 

If you have a property you wish to sell, or are looking to purchase, then contact LWK today. Time is of the essence. 


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