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Dealing With Probate? Let Us Guide You Through The Process Of Valuing An Estate

Debbie Porter

Potteries Auctions offer a Probate and Insurance Valuation service to ease the burden on an executor in valuing the estate of a recently deceased person.

If you are named as an executor in a will, you will know that at some point you will be required to seek Probate and to distribute an estate according to what is laid out in the will.  Many executors are also close family members to the recently deceased, and so it is fair to say, that the effort required to go through the Probate process at the same time as grieving is a stressful period of time.

How do I value an estate?

We recently published a blog entitled Should I take old unwanted things to charity shops or are they good enough to go to auction?   In this piece we outlined a few examples of where people had decided to take items to the charity shop thinking that what they had was worthless but wanted to check in with us at one of our free valuation days ‘just in case’.  The story speaks for itself where the examples given raised over £1300 at auction, that would otherwise have ended up in the local Oxfam.

It also follows that people in charge of winding up the estate of a person who has died will often be required to empty the contents of a house that is often filled with a lifetime of possessions collected along the way. Some of the possessions in a house will be valuable and a lot will be better parcelled up and sent to a charity shop.  The house clearance process is needed before the house can be put on the market in order to sell it and distribute the proceeds of an estate and so time is usually of the essence. 

Before any of this can happen though, you need to seek Probate in order to release an estate.  You will need to know the value of the estate in order to complete the probate application forms and for HMRC to establish whether any inheritance tax is due.  This is covered under section 160 of the Inheritance Tax Act 1984 (IHTA 1984). Usually you will be required to produce a professionally prepared written valuation for items with a value of £500 plus.

This is an onerous part of the process that encompasses valuing all manner of household items in order to combine with the house valuation, value of cars and other property and other securities such as bank balances and shares that might have been held, as well as settle any debts.  It is no wonder then that mostly the probate process takes between 6 and 12 months.

At Potteries Auctions, we auction a great many household items, antiques, jewellery, watches, collectables and curios at our regular auctions and can advise you on a great many different objects and valuables you might have in the property.  We are therefore well placed to provide you with a written probate valuation report for contents and personal effects.

We can help you with a valuation for your probate application by casting an expert eye on the content of the house.  If, at some point further down the line you decide to go to auction with these items, we can also sell them for you as well to seek the best possible price for the estate.  We also offer a house clearance service for items that have no value and rubbish, which is a full clearance, including all furniture, leaving you with an empty property that can then be sold.

Many of our customers have found this to be a really useful service, especially when dealing with the possessions of a loved one.  If you are interested in talking to us about this, then don’t hesitate to get in touch.

How do I get a probate valuation for household contents?

If you can’t come in and see us in person send us an initial email to or give us a call on 01782 638100 to arrange an appointment.  We will come to the property and will walk through each room methodically marking out valuable items to help prepare a report.