If your loved one owned a property in their sole name a Grant of Probate will be required when they die before a sale or transfer of a property can proceed.
Executors will usually be appointed under the terms of the Will. The Executor’s responsibility is to wind up the Estate as soon as possible. This usually means the Executors will be required to sell the property however they cannot do this until a Grant of Probate has been issued by the Court.
For more information see Do I Need a Grant of Probate?
The process and time to obtain a Grant of Probate can vary between Estates but will usually take a few months. You can apply for Grant of Probate yourself or instruct a Probate Solicitor to apply on your behalf.
At Simpson Millar we have specialist Probate Solicitors who can advise you on obtaining Probate or you can instruct us to deal with the matter on your behalf.
Time is of the essence when you are faced with selling an empty property. Empty properties are at a higher risk of fraud and also difficult to insure if the property is vacant. The Executor will need to ensure the buildings insurance provider is aware of the death of the property owner and whether the property is tenanted or vacant. Failure to update the buildings insurance provider may impact the insurance cover.
Probate Property Valuation
As part of the application process for a Grant of Probate the Executor should obtain two or three valuations of the property and take an average as a value. We are a national firm with national business partners. If you require any assistance or require further information and advice please contact our Probate Solicitors.
When selling a Probate property it’s important to instruct a Probate Solicitor but also a Conveyancing Solicitor as soon as possible. We can act on both the Probate matters and the Conveyancing process.
Our Conveyancing Solicitors will require the address of the property to check if the property is registered at the Land Registry. If the property is registered your Conveyancing Solicitor will obtain a copy of the registered title, there is no requirement to provide original deeds if the property is registered.
If the property is not registered the Executor will be responsible for obtaining the title deeds to the property and providing them to our Conveyancing Solicitor. Title deeds may be at the deceased’s property address, at the bank, accountant, or with a family member.
It’s critical the deeds are received as soon as possible. Once received we will check the content of the deeds pack to ensure all deeds are present and correct. If deeds are missing we will advise you as soon as possible, missing deeds will impact the sale of a property.
If all the deeds are in order and a buyer has not been found we may advise you to submit a voluntary first registration application to the Land Registry. This will depend on your circumstances, you will also need to be aware of the average time to receive a completed first registration.
Marketing the Property
An Executor can register the property with an estate agent however an Executor does not have power to sell the property until a Grant of Probate has been received. It’s important to notify the estate agent of the up to date position. The estate agent will notify any buyer of the Probate circumstances and advise the process may take longer than a standard sale.
The Executor has an obligation to accept the highest offer for the property. The Executor should discuss any matters with his Conveyancing Solicitor and also his Probate Solicitor before accepting an offer. As well as the sale price the Executor should consider the circumstances of the buyer and whether they have a property to sell and if so if they have a buyer. If they don’t this could delay the Probate sale.
Another area that Executors need to consider is Capital Gains Tax. If the property value has increased since the date of death value this could incur Capital Gains Tax. Your Probate and Conveyancing Solicitor will provide you with advice in relation to this.
Once the Grant of Probate has been received the Executor can accept an offer, exchange and complete. The sale process will be straightforward. Once the sale has completed the sale proceeds will usually be transferred to the Probate Solicitors to be administered and distributed in accordance with the Will.
Why Choose Simpson Millar?
Our expert teams of Conveyancers and Solicitors are on hand to make your Probate sale process as quick and pain-free as possible. We are Conveyancing experts and will advise you through each stage of the transaction.
Our Conveyancing fees are competitive and transparent. As the ’Open Lawyers’ we understand how important it is to budget when considering a Probate sale.
We do not charge you an additional fee for acting on your behalf when selling a Probate property.
Unlike many Conveyancers and Solicitors we do not have a menu of additional fees we add to the headline quoted fee.
If, due to unforeseen circumstances additional work is required we will advise you of what is required and any additional fee that may be incurred. If there is no additional work, the Conveyancing quote you receive is the Conveyancing fee you pay.
Simpson Millar Solicitors are a national law firm with over 500 staff and offices in Bristol, Cardiff, Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, London and Manchester.