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Probate Valuations

The main reason for obtaining a probate valuation is to establish what (if any) Inheritance Tax is due on the estate of someone who's died.


A second and very important reason is to actually find out what someone has left so that decisions can be made in accordance with their will.


Provals prepares detailed probate valuations that include all of the possessions, their value and how we understand they are to be dealt with (usually bequests, disbursement, selling and disposal) - our probate valuation frequently becomes the source document to support and guide the disposal of an estate, making the executors job much easier.

Older people often squirrel away cash and jewellery which can easily be thrown away with rubbish when sorting out what to keep. We search through the entire property and record everything we find. It is not uncommon for us to find stashes hidden in the strangest of places!

Our recent finds include a 1900's solid silver Omega Grand Prix pocket watch, gold and diamond jewellery in a Tesco plastic bag, 14 gold sovereigns, and a cache of about £10,000 cash hidden throughout a house!

Our research identifies valuable items that are often overlooked as "junk" by the executors. A recent example being a very sorry looking cast iron bench that had been slowly rotting in a garden for many years. The sole beneficiary was going to throw it away, but we asked her to wait until we'd valued it. We identified it as an original bench from around 1880 and worth over £500 - she was delighted with the news!

Easy to understand documentation

Our probate valuation reports have been designed to be clear, precise and easily understood thus making them extremely useful tools. This enables executors to easily and quickly identify each item and its location when they need to disburse them.


They are sorted on a room-by-room basis with a separate entry for each item. The details for every item contains the following information:

  • A colour photograph.

  • Detailed description including maker, product range, and the date of manufacture (if known) as well as the condition if there is any damage.

  • Disposal recommendation, or the name of the beneficiary if known.

  • Value - values are calculated at the price an item might achieve if sold privately as of the date of death. This is not an auction value or a retail value.

Each room or area section also includes a total value and there is a summary total for all rooms and areas including lofts, gardens, garages, sheds and basements at the end of the valuation report.

Although we are knowledgeable about a great many items, artwork, jewellery, furniture, and record or book collections we also undertake detailed research if we are unsure about any item's history or value.


This includes consulting with a range of specialist contacts we have built up over the years. As an example, the retired Head of Chinese Works of Art for the world renowned auction house Sotheby's is not only a regular contact but also a friend. 

Please click the PDF button below to view

pages from a recent probate valuation.

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Another example of an interesting discovery that the family knew nothing about was a 1930 signed first edition of "Swallows and Amazons" by Arthur Ransome.


We found it in a cardboard box hidden away in a dark corner of the deceased's loft.


Due to its extreme rarity we obtained a professional valuation which was in excess of £5,000.  

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