“Where there’s a will there’s a relative”, is an expression usually referring to the relative who conspicuous by their absence during the life of the deceased, is conspicuous by their presence when the estate is being divided.
Fortunately that is not the norm and in a recent case that I dealt with the relatives, for no other reason than their love for the deceased, looked after her with devotion beyond the call of duty. This was well deserved as she was one of the loveliest ladies ever to have sat in a Parker Knoll recliner.
In repayment for the kindness her will contained a list of artefacts each caring relative was to receive. As with all probates these had to be carefully located, itemised and valued. The task was a monumental one, requiring three visits to the property and the help of most of the relatives. The visits were among the most enjoyable I have ever made and the values among the lowest I have ever valued.
Probate work forms by far the highest percentage of my professional working week and it is by far the most rewarding. I love the variety, the discovery, the research and I love bringing goods to our saleroom, but after last weeks experience I think I love lovely relatives most of all.
Not all estates will attract Inheritance Tax, but many will and so it is important to get a professional valuation. While everyone appreciates the importance of paying taxes, the last thing anyone wants to do is pay too much.
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Senior Valuer Michael Dowse
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