Property in Probate? Why you need specialist home insurance
When a property is going through probate, responsibility to insure the property will fall with the executors of the estate. Properties that are going through probate are often left unoccupied for a substantial period of time. You will need to arrange specialist probate or empty property insurance for a property in this situation.
- Cover designed for properties going through probate
- Building & Contents options, regardless of whether property is occupied
- Sensitive and professional assistance at what can be a traumatic time
- Cover for properties awaiting sale
- No time-consuming telephone referrals
- Flexibility and understanding from our help centre when dealing with executor queries
Cover for properties awaiting sale
Many of our customers who arrange cover for a property in probate are not sure how long the process is going to take to resolve. Therefore we made things straightforward with our no cancellation fee promise. All our policies allow you to cover your property up to 12months, if you sell the property in the meantime you can cancel free of charge and receive a pro-rate refund of any unused premium.
Arranging Probate home insurance with CoverBuilder
As a legal executor of an estate, taking out a specialist home insurance policy with CoverBuilder for a property that is going through probate is incredibly simple. The policy will need to be submitted under the details of the person that has passed away with the title selected as ‘Executors of’.
Discussing the policy after submission
In order for us to discuss the details of the policy with you and make amendments we will need to see a scan or photocopy of the grant of probate, as this will confirm the identity of the executors of the estate. This is to ensure that the correct person has taken out the cover and that they have an ‘insurable interest’ in the property (that they have some form of financial interest).
It should also be remembered that once probate has been settled and the property has been transferred into the names of the beneficiaries they would need to take out a new policy in their own names. If the property is still unoccupied at this point then CoverBuilder will still be able to help in sourcing competitive unoccupied property cover.
Why choose CoverBuilder for your Probate Home Insurance
At CoverBuilder we are able to provide cover for properties in a whole host of unusual situations, including properties going through probate. The property could be occupied by living relatives or left unoccupied for a long period. These unoccupied properties are perceived as being at much higher risk of damage or break-in, making many standard insurers reluctant to provide cover. Under these conditions, a standard buildings and contents insurance policy will therefore probably not fit the bill.
Quoting for an unoccupied property that is in probate:
- On page 1, ‘Do you own the property?’ should be answered in relation to the deceased person’s ownership of the property e.g. whether they had a mortgage or not.
- On page 2, for the question ‘Is the property?’ you should select ‘Other’ and a drop down menu will appear. ‘Unoccupied’ should be selected from this list.
- Once ‘Unoccupied’ has been selected further questions will appear below. ‘Why is the property unoccupied?’ should be answered ‘Owner deceased, property in probate.
- ‘What level of cover is required?’ should be answered with the level of your choosing, bearing in mind that the more extensive the cover, the more expensive the premium you will pay.
- On page 4 (My Details) when answering ‘Title’ you should select ‘Other’ and then click ‘Executors of’ from the drop down menu that appears. The personal details on the quote should be those of the person that has passed away and legally owned the house (e.g. name, date of birth, occupation).
- The rest of the questions regarding bankruptcies, CCJs and convictions should be answered in relation to you, the executor.
- On the final submission stages when you are entering a correspondence address and contact details, they should be your own details as the executor. This means we will easily be able to contact you to discuss your policy if necessary.
What is probate?
When someone passes away and leaves behind an estate, particularly if this includes a property, the estate will go through a process called probate. This process involves administrating any outstanding debts and then dividing money and assets amongst the various beneficiaries. This can be a lengthy legal process, usually taking between 3 and 6 months to complete.
What needs to be done in order to obtain a grant of probate?
Once you have been named as the executor of an estate, in order to obtain a grant of probate there a number of tasks you have to carry out. These include things such as:
- Obtaining the death certificate
- Confirming your authority as the executor of the estate
- Calculating the value of the deceased person’s estate and whether it will be liable for inheritance tax.
- Attending a Probate Registry interview and swearing an executor’s oath.
Why not just use a general home insurance provider?
When you examine the cover levels of most general home insurance provider policies, you’ll start to notice that the cover is dramatically scaled back, especially when the deceased’s property is going to be left unoccupied until sale or occupation by a member of family or friend. This leaves the property exposed to much higher risk.
Our specialist policies not only cover the property against the general perils (fire, lightning, earthquake and explosion & aircraft) but also the full range of cover you’d expect from your home insurance property.
MORE ABOUT PROBATE PROPERTY INSURANCE
Inland Revenue guide to the valuation of a property process
A detailed guide on valuing a house for probate can be found at http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/inheritancetax/how-to-value-estate/land.htm
Inheritance tax issues
HMRC (Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs website) offers information and advice on probate matters and specific issues relating to inheritance tax. Their website is www.hmrc.gov.uk
A guide on what to do after someone has passed away
The citizen advice provides advice and a fact sheet on what to do after some has died at www.citizensadvice.org.uk
How to apply for probate
You can apply for a grant of representation yourself or use a solicitor or another person licensed to provide probate services. There are 4 steps to follow, more information about these steps can be found at: www.gov.uk
Cruse Bereavement Care is the leading national charity for bereaved people in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. We offer support, advice and information to children, young people and adults when someone dies and work to enhance society’s care of bereaved people.
Cruse Bereavement Care supports people who are bereaved, their website is at: www.crusebereavementcare.org.uk.
Law Society Probate Section
A grant of probate is an official document which the executors may need to administer the estate. It is issued by a section of the court known as the probate registry.
The law society probate section can be found at www.lawsociety.org.uk
Solicitors for the elderly
SFE (Solicitors for the Elderly) is an independent, national organisation of lawyers, such as solicitors, barristers, and chartered legal executives who provide specialist legal advice for older and vulnerable people, their families and carers. Contains details of expert solicitors experienced in probate www.solicitorsfortheelderly.com