When someone dies and has a property solely in their name, a grant of probate will be required before a sale or transfer of the property can proceed. This Executor(s) of the will will be required to sell the property as soon as possible in most cases, however they cannot do this until a Grant of Probate has been issued by the Court. The process and time to obtain a Grant of Probate can vary but will usually take a good few months. You can apply for the grant of probate yourself or instruct a legal practice to apply for this on your behalf.
At Hennah Haywood Law our solicitors can advise you on obtaining Probate or you can instruct us to deal with the matter on your behalf.
When selling an empty property, time can often be of the essence as you will be attractive to both first time and other buyers with no chain. The Executor will need to ensure the buildings insurance provider is aware of the death of the property owner and whether the property is vacant or tenanted. Failure to update the buildings insurance provider may impact the insurance cover.
When selling a Probate property it’s important to instruct a Probate Solicitor but also a Conveyancing Solicitor as soon as possible. Hennah Haywood can act for both matters.
Our conveyancing team will require the address of the property to check if the property is registered at the Land Registry. If the property is registered your Conveyancing Solicitor will obtain a copy of the registered title, there is no requirement to provide original deeds if the property is registered. If the property is not registered, the Executor will be responsible for obtaining the title deeds to the property and providing them to our Conveyancer.
An Executor can register the property with an estate agent however an Executor does not have power to sell the property until a Grant of Probate has been received. It’s important to notify the estate agent of the up to date position throughout the process. The estate agent will advise any prospective buyer of the Probate circumstances and explain that the process may take longer than a standard sale.
The Executor has an obligation to accept the highest offer for the property. The Executor should discuss any matters with his Conveyancing Solicitor and also his Probate Solicitor before accepting an offer. As well as the sale price the Executor should consider the circumstances of the buyer and whether they have a property to sell and if so if they have a buyer. If they don’t this could delay the Probate sale.
Another area that Executors need to consider is Capital Gains Tax. If the property value has increased since the date of death value this could incur Capital Gains Tax. Your Probate and Conveyancing Solicitor will provide you with advice in relation to this.
Once the Grant of Probate has been received the Executor can accept an offer, exchange and complete. Once the sale has completed the sale proceeds will usually be transferred to the Probate Solicitors to be administered and distributed in accordance with the will.
We understand how sensitive these types of matters are, our knowledgeable team are dedicated to ensuring the process is made as easy as possible for you and your family