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What Is A Probate Sale?

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Guest Winners and Losers

Have called about a house and been told that it is a probate sale. They said that it is probably a deceased estate. What does this mean exactly? Any chance of getting it for a knock down price?

'Doofus' - signing off.

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If someone dies without leaving a will then the estate goes to probate. This means anyone who has a pontential interest in the estate must register a claim. You may have seen adverts in the local paper to this effect.

In reality most probate is straight forward and does not involve a load of long lost relatvies coming forward. It usually means that someone just never got round to making a will.

The house is technically sold by the solicitor acting for the estate rather than an individual. But the chances are there is a son/daughter in the background who is involved.

It shouldn't make any difference to the sale and IMO should be approached just the same as any house being sold following the death of the owner.

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Have called about a house and been told that it is a probate sale. They said that it is probably a deceased estate. What does this mean exactly? Any chance of getting it for a knock down price?

Sounds like the previous owner has died and the house is being sold with the proceeds to go to the estate which will then probably be shared amongst the relatives/beneficiaries under the will (if there was one). I think the executor might have a duty to maximise the value of the estate i.e. get best price they can for the house. Another relevant factor could be how eager the beneficiaries are to get their mitts on the moolah. It's possible you might get a reduction for a quick sale, but a knock down price strikes me as unlikely unless the place is in crap order or located in an undesirable area.

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Guest Winners and Losers

Sounds like the previous owner has died and the house is being sold with the proceeds to go to the estate which will then probably be shared amongst the relatives/beneficiaries under the will (if there was one). I think the executor might have a duty to maximise the value of the estate i.e. get best price they can for the house. Another relevant factor could be how eager the beneficiaries are to get their mitts on the moolah. It's possible you might get a reduction for a quick sale, but a knock down price strikes me as unlikely unless the place is in crap order or located in an undesirable area.

Thanks. It needs work, but is in a decent area. No doubt it will 'fly off the shelf'.

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I'm not sure the comment about "without a will" is correct.

I thought all people who die have to get probate sorted out.

Often they need to sell the property to pay death duties but there's sometging odd about you can't sell til you get probate and you can't get probate till you pay the death duty taxes (I think it's something like that)

It shpould mean that the seller (often a solicitor) can act quickly and will be more interested in a quick sale.

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There will be the probate process to be carried out whether there is a will or not. It may be that the house needs to be sold to release cash to cover the inheritance tax bill.

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I'm not sure the comment about "without a will" is correct.

I thought all people who die have to get probate sorted out.

Often they need to sell the property to pay death duties but there's sometging odd about you can't sell til you get probate and you can't get probate till you pay the death duty taxes (I think it's something like that)

It shpould mean that the seller (often a solicitor) can act quickly and will be more interested in a quick sale.

I'm not sure that is correct.

People who die don't seem to care about getting anything sorted out. They just want to lie there and decompose. I've never heard of one selling anything or paying death duties. ;)

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The comment about 'without a Will' is wrong. Most estates now go to probate and threre may well be an IHT issue which is forcing the executors / beneficiaries to look for a quick sale.

Bargains are often available in these situations if you can move quickly.

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The comment about 'without a Will' is wrong. Most estates now go to probate and threre may well be an IHT issue which is forcing the executors / beneficiaries to look for a quick sale.

Bargains are often available in these situations if you can move quickly.

Probate isn't my field but thinking back to my lectures on the subject (generally spent half asleep at the technical college) there's basically two ways things can go:

The deceased made a will, appointed executors and specified how their estate should be distributed amongst the named beneficiaries.

The deceased didn't make a will. This necessitates someone (usually the nearest and dearest) applying for letters of administration, appointing someone to act as executor and the estate is then distributed amongst the deceased's family in a strict order laid down by law. Obviously this is a more lengthy way of doing things than if the deceased had made a will.

As I said, this isn't my thing so I might have some terminology and procedural details wrong. Please feel free to correct me if that's the case. No idea whatsoever on the IHT issues I'm afraid.

Edited by LTD

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I'm not sure that is correct.

People who die don't seem to care about getting anything sorted out. They just want to lie there and decompose. I've never heard of one selling anything or paying death duties. ;)

DonĀ“t give Crash Gordon any ideas, okay?

btp

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Every estate has to go through the probate process. All assets and debts have to be pulled together to give a total value for the deceased estate.

A house will need to be valued as part of the estate and if there is no money left in the estate to clear all debts and any IHT due, then the property will need to be sold. I think that the IHT usually has to be paid within 6 months of the person dying (but it could have changed over the last few years) After that interest gets charged on the tax due.

If banks, local authorities are owed money then if the solicitor is executor for the estate they will generally try to speed the sale up. If the person dies intestate ie. without a will and there are no surviving relatives who can legally make a claim on the estate then the solicitor appointed will sell the property and the government gets the proceeds after debts paid.

If the estate has beneficiaries and they have cash available, they may opt to pay the debts and sell the property at their leisure if they are able to hold out for a better price.

Lots of ifs here, you will need to check up on the situation and get as much info as possible from the estate agent. You can not legally buy the property until the probate has been granted for the estate - they may be putting the property on the market while the estate is still being finalised.

Hope this helps :blink:

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A "Probate Sale" would indicate that beneficaries of the deceased's Estate do not want to retain the property and have instructed the Executor(s) (appointed by the Will) or the Administrator(s) (no Will, Executor dead or not willing to act) to sell the property. Or it could be the Executor, if he/she is also a Discretionary Trustee.

Payment of IHT should not be a problem per se, as it can be paid over 10 years in repesct of Land & Property, although interest will accrue.

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