Uncle in end of life care - what do we have to include in the estate value for probate?



Hopefully some people have some clear advice that I can pass on to my Mum. I’ve read the very helpful guide about probate but have some questions.


My uncle is currently in end of life care and we think he has a matter of days or weeks. Due to this, we are getting everything in order and my Mum has asked me if I can help her on the probate front.


My uncle owns a property, has just under £100K in a bank account, will have pension pots and has a car. I’m under the impression that all of these will have to be contained within the value of the estate, which isn’t a problem as we have values for all of these. Many places have also suggested the estate includes household and personal items (furniture), electrical items (TV) and other contents within the home. My question is, do they have to form part of the estate? We actual have to value these items and include them for probate? If the answer is yes, what is the cut off point for items to be included?


The fact is, we don’t really want to value these items. The will is pretty straightforward, it nominates my mums as the sole executor (with my other uncle as an alternative if needed). It clearly states that the whole of my uncles estate, property and effects, whether movable or immovable, wheresoever situated and of nature to be equally split between my mum and my two uncles. The items in the house won’t be sold and money split between my two other uncles and my mum. It is more likely they’ll take what they each want and some of the other family will have other items. They are very close so there will be no discussion, argument or debate on who has what.


If they were just to agree who has what, do they have to be include in the estate value for probate or can we just not include them? What would be the problem with not including them? Even with these items includes, we don’t estimate the value of the estate to be above the IHT threshold.


Any help greatly appreciated.





  • Brie
    Brie Posts: 9,251
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    can't answer a lot on this but realistically - something that's in the house - a cooker or whatever is going to be minimal value.  Even if recently purchased a year back no one would buy it for anything much so I would just exclude those sort of items.  A local appliance shop may take it away for free or maybe give you £10 or something so negligable. 

    Many other items in the house may have a value if there's somebody willing to chase it - MiL had a hanky (!) that is nicer than one posted on ebay for £500.  But there's no guarantee that that other person will get £500 or that we would get £5 if we sold it.  And most of the other stuff - unless it's already logged as treasures - will be worth almost nothing.  That's the truth of things.  We've been valuing my mom's stuff and those art originals by known artists are worth almost nothing.  
    "Never retract, never explain, never apologise; get things done and let them howl.”
  • Brie
    Brie Posts: 9,251
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    And sorry for your family at a difficult time......never easy.
    "Never retract, never explain, never apologise; get things done and let them howl.”
  • badmemory
    badmemory Posts: 7,509
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    Unless he has antiques etc then the normal value declared for household furniture is around £500 to £1000.  Bearing in mind that some will have no value at all or may be given to charity.
  • LDHarv
    LDHarv Posts: 15
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    Thank you so much for both of these comments. So basically, if we put £1000 down for the value of the contents of the house we would be fine? As they will likely be given to various different people (family members, charity etc). There is nothing of significant value in terms of antiques. We have values for the house, car and obviously money sitting in the account. Assuming we need to find out the pension value as well? That would then give us the value you begin the probate process. 

    The value of the items in the house is a bit of a mute point for us to be honest. We won't be selling them for value and the money won't be split three ways. It'll just be given away.

    In short, if I value the estate using the following formula: house + money in accounts + car + £1000 for general household items - then we would be fine? He doesn't have any debt or stocks/shares.
  • The pension pots will almost certainly not form part of his estate.
  • sheramber
    sheramber Posts: 18,617
    First Anniversary I've been Money Tipped! First Post Name Dropper
    Will the pension not cease therefore there will be no value.
  • I'm sorry you and your family are facing a difficult time.

    From what you've said, your formula sounds reasonable. Note that you can also deduct the funeral costs as a debt for the net estate value.

    Also, the deceased bank will normally pay the funeral directors invoice directly from their account if there are sufficient funds and you provide them with a death certificate.
    Polar Pigs live in pigloos.....
  • sheramber said:
    Will the pension not cease therefore there will be no value.
    The pension may provide death benefits or there might may be funds left in a Defined Contribution pension pot. However, as K_P said, these are not normally deemed to be part of the deceased's estate and are therefore outside IHT.
    Polar Pigs live in pigloos.....
  • Hello, as I understand it, the value in the bank accounts has to be that at the date of passing and include any interest accrued to that date

  • When the time comes to apply for Probate, there is an online form to complete first where you put in the fugues they ask for and it calculates if  IHT is payable-  and in your case will no doubt tell you that the estate does not need to pay IHT. So no IHT forms will then be needed. 
    The form will then provide the figures you need to put on the Probate form.
    if the bank pays the funeral bill first before paying out, add that amount back in to the total. Then put the funeral amount in the debts section, together with any outstanding credit card payments.
    if no IHT is payable you don’t need to worry too much about the value of items. A global figure of £500-£1000 is fine. Even if there are specific valuables, they are only worth what you can sell them for- probably not a lot, and nowhere near their insurance value.
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