Valuing an estate, either for the purposes of reporting to HMRC after someone has died or for long term planning purposes (LTC or IHT) while you, or your father/mother/relative, is still alive can be a very time consuming and complicated process.
Of course, much will depend on the number and types of assets that form the value of the estate, but even the estate of a middle-income seventy-year old can contain quite an abundance of items, policies, investments, and accounts.
One of the biggest problems in valuing an estate is the would-be valuer’s lack of experience in dealing with such matters. For example, would a thirty-five year old executor possibly miss a paid-up penny policy from the 1940’s thinking it was just a scrap of old paper?
The website “Unclaimed Assets UK” reports that according to the Association of British Insurers (ABI), as much as £2billion “is languishing in forgotten and unclaimed life policies around the UK.” This is in addition to estimated £19.4 billion in lost or forgotten pensions and £3 billion in unclaimed shares and dividends. That all adds up to a lot of unclaimed money.
At Castle Estate Solutions, we are well used to going through boxes or files of old documents and far less likely to miss something than someone who has never done it before. We also have relationships and connections with most of the leading “asset detective” resources like Policy Detective and Experian’s Unclaimed Asset Register to help identify who is currently liable for a claim on an insurance policy where the “headline” insurer, e.g. the Tunstall & District Assurance Collecting Society, has gone out of business decades ago. Many of these old policies are still claimable if you just know who to approach to claim on them. The same principle applies to pensions, shares, bonds, and many other things.
In terms of reporting the value of an estate to HMRC following someone’s death, Castle Estate Solutions can also help or even do it on your behalf if you acting as executor. We will determine if you need to complete the IHT205 or IHT400 form depending the results of our valuation and can even complete them for ready for your signature. Our current hourly rates for valuation are shown on the Fee Schedule page.