Fine art valuers, advisors & brokers since 1972


Inheritance tax

A probate or inheritance tax (known as IHT) valuation is generated in the event of a death; additionally it may be required for tax planning purposes. The instructions will be normally given by your advisors; solicitors, trustees, executors or accountants. The current inheritance tax threshold is £325,000. If the total estate, which includes chattels, property, shares etcetera exceeds this amount then you will require valuations for all to calculate the total tax liability.

Owing to security considerations a pre-assessment or estimate of the cost of the work required is not always practicable; often the work has to be done as a matter of urgency. Once a valuer has recorded all chattels in the estate and identified the specific bequests, if any, then the executors can commence administration of the chattels part of the estate.

Normally there are two stages to this type of valuation: first a discussion document is prepared. This enables the beneficiaries in the estate to identify what items, if any, need to be sold from the estate. Secondly, once this information is in hand then a final document for submission to HMRC (Capital Taxes Office) via your advisors can be submitted. Tax liabilities can then be calculated from the total of the document for those items to be retained. The values of items to be sold, if any, have the tax liability calculated on the sale value.

Where specific bequests (chattels) are mentioned in a Will then the location and safeguarding of these becomes a priority. A valuer will normally give an indication as to what the contents should be insured for, they will also give advice on security matters. Executors should remember that most contents insurance policies have what is known as a 30 day exclusion clause. This means cover will be cancelled if the property is left unoccupied for longer than this period. Insurers should be notified immediately upon a death.
On occasion it is advisable to remove valuable items to a safe store to protect them from burglary. It is quite common for a vulnerable deceased’s home to be burgled especially so if they were notable and an obituary had been published.

The valuer should be prepared to enter discussions with HMRC (CTO) when a dispute as to values arises. They may well ask the valuer to justify their values on certain items.

We also carry out valuations for insurance replacement and Capital Gains Tax purposes.

Our fee for all types of valuation is based on time rather than value, plus expenses.

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