Valuing Shares for Probate: Why You Should Obtain a Professional Valuation
When someone dies the appointed executor must first assess the value of the estate as part of their probate duties. This means looking at any real estate that is owned, bank accounts, and shares in order to fully assess the value of the estate and any death taxes due such as the Inheritance Tax on anything £325k and over per person or £650 for a married couple. If an estate runs over this amount, the tax rate is at 40% and will be paid by those who are designated as inheritors. Given that the executor has potentially thousands in taxes that rests on their accountability 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 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.