Who Pays Capital Gains Tax (CGT)?
Capital gains tax on property Capital gains tax is payable on the sale of second homes and buy-to-let property. You generally won’t need to pay the tax when selling your main home (unless you have developed it to use parts of it for business)- however, you may also need to pay CGT if your home is partly used as a business premises, or you lease out part of your property.
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Selling an inherited house with or without a will can be a long, expensive process – especially if the property is empty while the will is being settled or the legal processes are being completed. Even simple wills can takes 9 – 12 months to settle. More complicated wills with money to collect from investments, savings and pensions or wills with money to pay in inheritance tax or debt can take considerably longer to be read.
Whether a person has written a will or not; before a beneficiary can sell an inherited property, they or an executor acting on their behalf must obtain legal confirmation of their authority to sell the property or transfer ownership of the inherited property. If a will has been written, the authority is called a Grant of Probate. If the deceased did not leave a will, the authority is called a Grant of Letters of Administration. Both documents grant the beneficiaries or executors legal authority to close bank accounts, sell shares and investments and sell or transfer property.
Even a straightforward estate with named beneficiaries and no legal challenges or debts to pay from the estate with the application submitted by a solicitor, can take two to three months to obtain authority to sell an inherited property while various legal and taxation checks are made. It can take even longer if the application is made by the beneficiary rather than through a solicitor, if inheritance tax is due or there are any other complications affecting the inheritance.
An inherited property cannot be sold until the authority has been granted or the property has been transferred to the name(s) of the person or people who intend to sell the property.
Keeping an empty inherited property secure (paying for empty property insurance, the cost of regular visits to the property as required by most empty property insurances) while paying liabilities (council tax, mortgage repayments etc) and keeping basic amenities such as electricity and water connected (to prevent weather related damage and to conduct viewings in an uncompromising environment) while ownership is transferred to beneficiaries then while a sale is found, agreed and completed can be expensive, time consuming and emotionally draining process that can easily take 12 – 18 months to complete.
In A Nutshell
We save our clients time and money by working with will executors and/or the beneficiaries’ solicitors to apply for a Grant Of Probate so that the ownership can be passed directly from the deceased to the new buyers when the authority is issued rather than transferred to from the deceased to the beneficiaries then to buyers. Upon completion, the proceeds from the sale can be distributed to the executor or directly to the beneficiaries.
The process saves our sellers money spent maintaining an empty property, land registry fees and duplicate solicitor costs (performing the same actions twice to transfer ownership to the beneficiaries than the new buyers).
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