Inheritance Tax and Probate Valuations

We undertake valuations for all purposes related to the assessment and calculation of taxation and customs duties. With the ever-increasing complexities of taxation, trust and domicile regimes, accurate and up-to-date valuations have become more and more important.

Often referred to by lawyers as a valuation of the Chattels of the Deceased. This includes such assets as furniture, paintings, works of art, jewellery, and personal possessions.

The process of Probate valuation is relatively straight forward. The purpose is to ascertain the total value of the assets held in the estate, so that your solicitor can see if the estate is liable for Inheritance Tax (IHT).

Where the value of the estate is well below the IHT threshold (£325,000 in 2020/21) placing a relatively optimistic valuation on the chattels would probably not create an IHT liability. Where IHT must be paid, however, a realistic and justifiable open market valuation must be ascertained – the value for which they could be sold if a bargain were made between a willing buyer and a willing seller – and in accordance with Section 160 of the Inheritance Tax Act of 1984.

If gifts have been made within 7 years of the donor’s death, those gifts will be included in the personal allowance of the estate. A valuation and the date of any gifts is also advisable, as there is a sliding scale of tax liability between 0-7 years. The current rate of inheritance tax is 40% (2020/21).

A person’s liability to IHT can be reduced through owning certain types of assets which are exempt or partially exempt from IHT to name a few: gifts to spouse, gifts to charity, owning AIM portfolios, farming, BPR assets, pensions, life insurance policies in trust.

At Doerr Dallas Valuations our team of qualified specialists would attend the property to conduct the appraisal. We charge purely on a time basis, a quotation will be discussed and agreed with you together with our terms and conditions of business beforehand. Probate valuations should not be charged as a percentage of the value of the estate, which can inflate the fee unnecessarily.

Any items bequeathed as per a will should be valued separately and listed at the back of the valuation report.

Our Probate valuation department deals directly with solicitors, administrators and executors to ensure the estate valuation process is dealt with smoothly and professionally and that all high value chattels are correctly valued by our specialist team. In fact, all chattels will be accurately assessed which prevents executors accidentally throwing items of value away and ensures that a distribution amongst family members is equitable. We are always happy to value assets/chattels even when there is no legal requirement to do so.

By having a professional valuation completed, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) can expedite Probate more speedily.

We are happy to provide professional advice in relation to estate administration and other related areas such as Condition Exemption, Acceptance in Lieu, Rental Agreements and Valuations for Capital Gains Tax.

Our report will list the relevant chattels at market value and will include a final statement summary and inheritance tax valuation certificate. Photographs will be included of any high value items. The document will be professionally bound ready for presentation to HMRC together with a PDF copy.

After probate has been granted, our team is also available to provide support and assistance with any sales from the estate. We have an extensive network of contacts with the leading London and provincial firms of auctioneers and can place art and antiques and other items in the most appropriate market places for best net returns. For more details, please speak to us.


Through considerable experience of dealing with legal practitioners, we are aware of the pressures on those dealing with estates in these circumstances and aim to provide a fast turnaround of information. Our valuers also appreciate that they may be dealing with family members in sensitive circumstances. We operate to Service Standards which are available for inspection.

Conditional Exemption and Acceptance in lieu

We can provide the necessary valuations as part of the IHT return or review and update pre-existing valuations. We can also undertake any necessary research, setting out the reasons why an object should satisfy the required tests.

Useful Resources
from Doerr Dallas

Probate Video:

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