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Probate

This is the formality of proving – or complying with – the terms of a Will. The Executors named in the Will are responsible for sorting matters out. Any property will be sold and the assets either passed on to the beneficiaries or turned into cash. Then the accounts will be submitted and any capital gains or inheritance tax agreed. At that stage Probate is granted and the remaining funds can be distributed.

A probate sale means the executors are handling matters on behalf of an estate. They will be acting as trustees and have a duty to the beneficiaries to ensure that they maximise the price achieved. Where there is a likely dispute the executors may decide, or be ordered by the court, to sell the property by public auction.

Generally, where an estate agent is handling a probate sale they will have less discretion and, as they will not have been instructed by the former occupier, the agents will know less about the property than is usual. Accordingly, if interested in such a property, we would suggest you have a full survey before formulating an offer to purchase.

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