What You Need to Do
As part of applying for probate, you need to value the money, property and possessions (‘estate’) of the person who has died. You do not need probate for all estates. Check if you need it.
You need to complete 3 main tasks when you value the estate.
- Contact organisations such as banks or utility providers about the person’s assets and debts.
- Estimate the estate’s value. This will affect how you report the value to HMRC, and the deadlines for reporting and paying any Inheritance Tax. Most estates aren’t taxed.
- Report the value to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).
How Long it Takes
The process of valuing the estate can take 6 to 9 months, or longer for big or complicated estates (for example if they involve trusts or there’s tax to pay).
You do not need to value the estate straight away after someone dies. There are only deadlines if the estate owes Inheritance Tax.
If it does, you will need to:
- send Inheritance Tax forms within one year
- start paying tax by the end of the sixth month after the person died - you can make a payment before you finish valuing the estate
You can hire a professional (for example a solicitor) to help with some or all of the tasks involved with valuing an estate.
- Money Advice Service has guidance on when and how to hire a professional.
- Law Donut has advice on keeping solicitors’ fees down.
You can also get help by calling the probate and Inheritance Tax helpline.
- Contact organisations about assets and debts
- Estimate the estate’s value
- Report the estate’s value to HMRC