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Establishing the Value of an Estate for Probate

Establishing the Value of an Estate for Probate

6th December 2021

Estate valuation for probate is often at the bottom of the priority list after a loved one has passed away. However, this is, unfortunately, an essential matter that should be dealt with as soon as possible. Here, we look at how you can achieve this with minimal stress.

Who deals with probate valuation?

The executors and administrators of the will are responsible for probate valuation. The OMV (open market value) must be determined from the date that the deceased passed away. Anything worth more than £500 must be valued professionally if the estate is expected to exceed £250,000 in its entirety. Any value below this can be estimated. Estate agents and qualified surveyors are required to carry out this task. However, there are pros and cons to both options, which we look at here.

Estate Agents

A professional estate agent can provide an accurate idea of the property's worth, and it will not cost a thing. Although their valuation is not formal, their market appraisal puts you at a good starting point. A formal valuation must be performed by a qualified valuer (RICS).

When using an estate agent for a market appraisal, the thing to be aware of is that they may over-estimate. This is because they often work with an asking price rather than a settling price. Speak to your agent and explain that you wish to receive an accurate and realistic valuation. Tell them you are after an OMV for probate purposes. Be sure to get several valuations from different estate agents to ensure accuracy and get a sound idea.


If the property in question has quirks or the potential for development, a surveyor’s valuation is best for probate. HMRC tend to prefer surveyor valuations, although this is not essential. Similarly, if there are court proceedings, judges prefer these types of valuations. There is no doubt that this method of probate valuation is preferred all around. However, there is one drawback, and that is cost. Surveyors will charge a substantial fee for their service, so you should research the costs involved to prepare for this initial cost.

For information about the surveyor services available at Taylor Freeman Kataria, contact our friendly and professional team on 0208 5999911.

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