Valuing Shares for Probate: Why You Should Obtain a Professional Valuation
When someone dies the appointed executor has a responsibility to administer the estate correctly according to the wishes in the will and the law. One of the executor’s duties is to assess the value of the estate in order to apply for probate. It is important the estate is valued correctly in order to understand what the inheritance tax liabilities are on the estate. Inheritance tax is paid at 40% on the amount of the estate that is over the inheritance tax allowance which is currently at £325,000 for a single individual. There are extra allowances under certain circumstance for example the nil rate band allowance, this can be shared between spouses giving a possible allowance of the combined nil rate bands equaling £650,000. As the Executor of the estate they are held liable to ensure the correct amount is paid. It is often wise to bring in a professional to assist with shares and property valuation.
The executor must inform any stockbroker or fund manager of the death and ask for a probate valuation/confirmation valuation as of the date of death. The broker can give you an honest appraisal of the closing price on the shares, but if the person did not work with a broker you will have to do this yourself. That means you must try to gather information from family or the deceased records any and all mention of stock or funds in his or her name. This is certainly not the easiest thing to do but it is a necessity for probate. Once gathered, share valuations for probate must begin. It is the executor’s duty to track down what the price was at the time of closing bell on the day of death and compile them. This is highly problematic for many because it requires an expertise and knowledge that most people do not have and must acquire quickly.
A good executor is someone who is honest, but he or she cannot be expected to be a master of all. Obtaining a professional valuation will save time and headache, and the results will probably be more precise than if one must overcome a learning curve.