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Can I Sell a House as Executor?

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Inheriting a property from a loved one can be an emotional and complex process, especially when it comes to selling the house as an executor. 

If you find yourself in this situation, you’re likely wondering, “Can I sell a property as executor?” The short answer is yes, but there are several important steps and considerations to remember.

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Can I Sell a Property as Executor?

As the executor of an estate, you have the legal authority to sell the deceased’s property, including their home. However, this responsibility comes with specific duties and obligations. 

Before you can sell the property, you must obtain a Grant of Probate (or Grant of Letters of Administration if there is no will), which is a legal document that confirms your authority to administer the estate. The process of obtaining probate can be time-consuming such as:

  1. Locating the deceased’s will (if one exists)
  2. Valuing the estate’s assets, including the property
  3. Applying for probate with the appropriate court
  4. Paying any outstanding debts or taxes owed by the estate
  5. Distributing the remaining assets to the beneficiaries according to the will or intestacy laws

 

Once you have obtained the Grant of Probate, you can sell the property.

Tax Considerations

When selling a property as an executor, there are several tax implications to consider:

  1. Capital Gains Tax (CGT): If the property has increased in value since the deceased acquired it, you may be liable for CGT on the gain. However, there are certain reliefs and exemptions available, such as the Principal Private Residence Relief, which can reduce or eliminate the CGT liability.

 

Example: If the deceased’s property was sold for £300,000, and they originally purchased it for £150,000, the capital gain would be £150,000. If the property qualified for PPR relief and the deceased’s estate is below the annual exempt amount, no CGT would be payable.

 

  1. Inheritance Tax (IHT): Inheritance Tax (IHT) is a tax levied on the value of the deceased’s estate, including any property, above a certain threshold. If the estate’s value, including the property, exceeds the nil-rate band, IHT may be payable at a rate of 40% on the excess value.

 

Example: If the deceased’s estate, including the property, is valued at £600,000, and they have not used any of their nil-rate band or RNRB, the IHT payable would be £110,000 (40% of £275,000, which is the excess over the combined nil-rate band and RNRB).

 

  1. Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT): If the property is being sold to a beneficiary, SDLT may be payable, depending on the value of the property and the beneficiary’s circumstances.

 

Example: If the property is being sold to a beneficiary for £250,000, and they are not first-time buyers or replacing their main residence, the SDLT payable would be £2,500 (0% on the first £125,000 and 2% on the remaining £125,000).

It’s essential to seek professional advice from a solicitor or tax advisor to ensure you comply with all legal and tax obligations.

can i sell house as executor
In some cases, the will may explicitly give the executor the authority to sell the property without the approval of all beneficiaries.

Selling the Property Without All Beneficiaries Approving

In some cases, the will may explicitly give the executor the authority to sell the property without the approval of all beneficiaries. However, if the will does not grant this authority, it is best to obtain the consent of all beneficiaries before proceeding with the sale.

If one or more beneficiaries refuse to approve the sale, you may need to apply to the court for an order to sell the property. This process can be time-consuming and costly, so it’s best to try to reach an agreement with the beneficiaries first.

Selling to a Beneficiary

If a beneficiary wishes to purchase the property from the estate, it’s important to ensure that the sale is conducted at market value and that all other beneficiaries know and agree to the transaction. This helps avoid potential conflicts of interest or disputes among the beneficiaries.

It’s also advisable to obtain a professional property valuation to ensure the sale price is fair and reasonable. Additionally, the beneficiary purchasing the property may be liable for Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT), depending on the value of the property and their circumstances.

Executor's Account

Upon completion of the sale, the sale proceeds must be paid into an Executor’s account, which is a specific account opened solely for the purpose of dealing with the assets of the deceased person. This account is often a new account opened by the executor, but some banks may allow renaming an existing account of the deceased as an Executor’s account.

The Executor’s account is necessary because solicitors cannot pay the sale proceeds directly to beneficiaries or the executor in their personal capacity. The funds must be held in the Executor’s account until the estate administration is complete, and the assets can be distributed according to the will or intestacy laws.

Key Responsibilities as an Executor

Step

Action

1

Obtain a Grant of Probate (or Letters of Administration)

2

Gather all necessary documents

3

Settle outstanding debts or liabilities.

4

Consult with professionals such as a solicitor and accountant

5

Consider tax implications (CGT, IHT, SDLT)

6

Distribute proceeds according to the will or intestacy laws

7

Ensure beneficiary approval (unless explicitly authorised)

8

Open an Executor’s account to receive sale proceeds

It is easy to get carried away with a refurbishment and before you know it, you've made property much worst than it was!

Can I Sell a House as Executor?

It’s beneficial to agree on a quick sale to minimise potential disputes among siblings. Prolonged sales processes often lead to new disputes and challenges.

Managing the estate of a deceased loved one, including inherited property, is emotionally taxing. We understand—additional stress and uncertainty are the last things you need during such a time.

That’s where our team at Property Saviour steps in to assist. We aim to make your experience as smooth and stress-free as possible, acknowledging the difficult period you’re going through and offering to lighten your load.

Here’s what we offer:

– No need for estate agents or property valuations, eliminating unnecessary back-and-forth.
– We do away with the need for surveys, simplifying the process.
– The price we agree on is final; no surprises or last-minute changes.
– A transparent process upheld by genuine reviews from sellers like you.
– We contribute at least £1,500 towards your legal fees, easing your financial burden.

Selling a property after a loss is a significant emotional and logistical challenge. However, you don’t have to face it alone.

Contact Property Saviour today. Let our team support you with compassion and expertise through this tough time. We’ll be with you every step of the way, ensuring a seamless transition and honouring the legacy of your loved one.

Say goodbye to sleepless nights worrying about the details—let us handle them, and focus on caring for yourself and your family during this trying period.

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