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Our Probate Clearance Guide

The complex process of managing probate takes place in the midst of experiencing the grief of losing a loved one. Dealing with the feelings of loss, stress and confusion while managing the complicated probate process can seem overwhelming, particularly if you are named as executor, or named as one of several executors. This may be the first, or only time you have taken on this role. Online there are many guides to clearance or guides to probate. Rather than writing this to sell our services we have tried to focus on the exact stages you will need to go through and offer real practical advice to provide a simple, functionable and helpful guide which can be used to navigate this difficult process. If you’d like to employ our services then we are here to help. Areas you may have to manage include: Probate Valuation Inheritance Inheritance tax assessment Solicitors Conveyancing Property valuation House clearance Estate valuation Stages Of Probate Finding a solicitor to assist handle affairs Identify assets and debts Estimate Valuation Decision if you need to inform HMRC and decide amount of tax Removal of inherited items, sentimental items Sale Clearance Final property sale or occupation

You are well advised to approach several solicitors. You are about to undertake a complicated process and finding the right one for you should come first. Your probate solicitor will help you navigate through the process, and although the average probate will take several months this can continue for 12 months plus, so having someone who fits your needs is important. Your probate solicitor will help lead the way through the administration of the process, and they will have a wealth of experience to help in administering the estate, finding missing assets, locating beneficiaries, liaising with HMRC and applying tax reliefs and exemptions. If the estate however is worth less than £5,000.00 you may wish to do this yourself. There is no legal requirement to use a probate solicitor and there are services that will offer fixed fee solutions. The choice is ultimately yours and dependent on how complicated the estate will determine the amount of support that you would find helpful and require. The next stage is to identify the assets and debts, to do this is often a very emotional and difficult task as it will mean examining the deceased’s paperwork to ascertain the information you will need. By being organised with the deceased’s former estate this may be an area that you give yourself time to process, and if you decide to use a clearance company at the appropriate stage it is always worth asking them to put any paperwork to one side for you to review. Assets include; Bank accounts Savings Property Household goods Personnel items Stocks, shares, ISA’s Pension information There are services such as the free tracing service which will help check this information. An estate agent, or RICS conveyor can provide a market valuation of the property. For the estates possessions you may wish to have an expert come and

provide a value, many clearance companies and auctioneers can assist with this to get an accurate market value. We will always provide a warning though please be careful of companies who will offer to purchase items amongst clearance. They will often offer less than market value, and some will not complete a full clearance once they have taken items that have interested them. Following this the decision will be made about tax, the estate will not have to pay tax if: The estate passes to the spouse or civil partner of the person who has died. The estate passes to a charity or a community amateur sports club The estate has a value below the inheritance tax threshold of £325,000.00 Once these aspects of probate have taken place and family members have received any items of sentimental importance or inherited items it comes to the clearance. There are two basic choices to carry this out; 1 - Do it yourself. This can be a challenging process, but there are ways to help yourself. Being organised in carrying out the clearance is really important, taking time, being aware of what your local household recycling centre can take, can’t take and what they charge for. Using sites like Facebook marketplace and Ebay can help to sell items. Others which may be of use for specific items include: Music Magpie, Ziffit, Vintage Cash Cow; as well as shops such as Cex. Many areas have local charities who will collect ensuring the items go to good causes. We do recommend you check what they accept and whether any items have required standards such as fire retardant labels. Also if you have a private drive a skip may be useful for those items which cannot be donated or reused. It is advisable to carefully assess the size of the skip needed as they can fill up quickly and to ensure you check what can and more importantly cannot go in the skip. 2 - Use a specialist house clearance company. You should ensure they provide a quotation and have appropriate licensing and are fully insured. They should offer you support throughout the process. Recycling rates and evidence of disposal (this is called a waste transfer note which is a legal requirement) should be provided. Using n. an efficient and professional house clearance company can be an excellent way to simplify this aspect and relieve the pressure and stress.

Following this the final stage is to either move into the property or for the property to be marketed. We hope this guide has been helpful and useful and are always on hand to offer advice, help or guidance as well as our services. We’d love it if you’d follow us on our social media to find out more. Many Thanks Junk-O-Saurus

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