Valuing the estate of someone who's died

You need values of any money, property and possessions (known as their estate) of someone who’s died, on the date of their death, before you are able to get a ‘grant of representation’. This is the legal right to deal with their estate.

You also use your valuations to work out if inheritance tax must be paid on the estate.

Before you start

You’ll need details of all the person’s assets and debts when they died - plus any assets they gave away before they died (known as ‘gifts’) and also any assets they held jointly with someone else.

An asset is anything the person owned with a value which could be sold.

Step by step valuation

  1. Find out the value of assets and any gifts that were made in the last seven years.
  2. Add up assets and gifts, then take away any debts or loans they had.
  3. Use the total to ascertain if inheritance tax must be paid - there usually is if the estate’s value is more than £325,000.
  4. Fill in the correct inheritance tax forms - use the forms to deduct anything that’s exempt from inheritance tax and then work out the tax bill. You have six months to complete this from the date of their death if there is inheritance tax to pay.
  5. Send the forms when you apply for a grant of representation.
  6. It is important to keep records of all of the above.

Heather Varley is an experienced Legal Executive and an Associate in our Wills & Tax Team. She says “This may not seem straight forward if you are dealing with all of this for the first time, and it can be especially bewildering if you are grieving for the person who has died. We are here to help. We can value the estate and work out the inheritance tax for you.”

Our Wills & Tax Team are happy to discuss any issues that this raises for you. If you have any questions, you only have to ask us at Frettens. Please call 01202 499255 and Heather or a member of the team, will be happy to chat about your situation and your particular requirements.