Back to Help Topics

Probate Valuation

Following a death certain estates require a professional valuation to be submitted to the Inland Revenue (HMRC).

Which items can you value?

The Cotswold Auction Company RICS qualified valuers provide valuations on all ‘chattels’ or moveable possessions including:-

  • Furniture, Rugs and Clocks
  • Paintings and Decorative Arts
  • Silver and Jewellery
  • Ceramics and Glass
  • Books, Toys and Collectables
  • Stamps, Coins and Medals
  • Textiles and Costume
  • Garden and Household Effects
  • Motor Valuations

How much time should I allow ?

Most valuations take between 1-3 hours, although a large property or a high proportion of antiques could require a longer visit.

What form does the valuations take?

The items are listed room by room, starting from the entrance hall and in each room in a clockwise direction from the fireplace/doorway. We use 'Object ID', an international standard for description of art and antiques .
Inventories are presented in bound folders. We list and value most items individually, which is useful for division amongst family members. This also indicates what we would expect the items to realise at auction if consigned for sale.

Who receives the valuation?

We send these to solicitors and/or beneficiaries or executors upon request. An extra copy is included, to be forwarded to the Inland Revenue.

What are the Inland Revenue requirements?

HMRC requires that the valuation is carried out on an open market value basis in accordance with The Inheritance Tax Act of 1984, as between willing buyer/willing seller (e.g. in a public auction). Costs of sale must be excluded. The purpose and basis of this sale must be clearly identified and specific bequests included.

Is a summary provided?

Yes, the form requires that total valuations are given for:

  • Antiques and Collections
  • Jewellery
  • Motor Vehicles
  • Other Effects.
  • Silver
  • Special Collections

We provide a summary in this format to simplify the completion of the form.

Do you take photographs?

Photographs are taken of items of substantial value as a record and an aid to our research. These can be provided with the valuation.

How do you charge for valuation?

We charge on an hourly basis for time spent at the property. Occasionally, an extra charge may need to be made if significant time is needed for research afterwards. Please contact us for an estimate.

Can you sell items which are not required by the family or beneficiaries?

We can arrange the collection and sale of all contents which are of saleable value. With a comprehensive range of specialist auctions and worldwide live online bidding, we are ideally placed to obtain the maximum open market value for art, antiques and collectables. Some of our sales also include general household contents, and we can arrange clearance contractors to leave the property empty and ready for sale.

Do I have any additional safeguards as you are Chartered Arts and Antiques Surveyors?

RICS stands for the “Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors”. Because we are RICS members our valuers and auctioneers are:-

  • Professionally qualified and required to maintain and improve upon their specialist skills throughout their careers.
  • Required to maintain a designated client account for client’s money which is subject to audit
  • Required to hold professional indemnity insurance
  • Committed under Royal Charter to provide the highest standards of professional skills and integrity

For more information, contact us at, or telephone 01242 256363

To contact us, please email