Property: Can I sell without a probate? Inheritance rules explained


Selling a property left to you in a will is often way of turning your deceased loved one’s home into something you can use for you and your family.

What is a probate? A probate is a document that proves a will.

In this situation a probate would be used to prove that someone had really left another their property.

In the UK it is the Chancery Division of the High Court of Justice that deals with probates.

The High Court gives the ability to sell a property that belonged to a deceased person.

Do you need a probate to sell a house?

According to Co-Op Legal Services the answer is no, not exactly.

Some might not require a probate at all to sell. This includes a spouse or joint owner.

According to data from Move With Us estate agents one in 10 properties in the market is a probate sale.

This means it is a deceased person’s house and is being sold on by whoever has inherited it.

A Grant of Probate is an official document given to the those carrying out the will.

This is not needed to put the property on the market. A probate is also not needed to receive an offer on a property or even exchange contracts.

However, the probate will have to have been given to your solicitor before the sale is completed.

A probate is also needed to pay an inheritance tax bill

Normally, there’s no Inheritance Tax to pay if the value of the estate is below the £325,000 threshold.

However, you do need you pay tax on the value of the whole estate including property.

Martin Lewis probate advice encourages Britons to save on fees where they can. 

Martin warned ITV viewers the fees will soon rise to almost £6,000, urging people to apply for probate now.

He advised: “When someone dies and leaves property, money and possessions – collectively known as their estate – the person looking after the estate needs to administer out who gets what.”

He added: “Currently the probate fee for estates over £5,000 is a flat £215 (or £155 if you apply through a solicitor).

“Yet from April in England and Wales only (Scotland and Northern Ireland have different probate fees) this plans to change – yet there’s no exact date yet and it still needs to be approved by House of Commons, so could be delayed.

“Yet if it does go ahead in April as planned, the new fees crucially are charged based on when you apply for probate (not on when the estate holder died), so some should start applying for it now to save thousands in added fees.”

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