Valuations seem to have been coming in thick and fast lately. They are always interesting as every property and every assignment is individual and the people concerned are too. What have we done over the last six months?
Even though probates come at an upsetting time, they do not have to be frightening. Instead a probate valuation should be seen as an opportunity to ensure the achievements of the person who has passed away are successfully handed on to their heirs. Yes, the tax has to be resolved but good planning and good advice can help to manage that.
Gifts These can be made to help family members or to ease the potential burden of future tax. When making a gift and having it valued, Capital Gains Tax may be a factor but a donor (whether parent or benefactor) can gain great pleasure from gifting away part of their property to the next generation.
There are long-term advantages in placing property (not residential) into a SIPP. It makes a good investment; there is clear tax advantage and the promise of a future pension. You just need to be sure that you will not want that asset back one day.
These are sometimes complicated but they do provide a secure vehicle for passing on assets while retaining a degree of control. Since the tax provisions came into effect, we are commonly reaching the ten-year anniversaries which require a valuation update.
Stocktakings I make annual visits to farms to complete the valuation for the year's accounts. These visits provide a perfect opportunity to meet clients and discuss informally many subjects affecting their property, their business and their family.
Sometimes an interest in land has to be valued, for example, sporting rights, minerals, development, access and service easements.
Banks and financial bodies tend to have their own retained teams of valuers so this one does not come our way directly but I mention them here as yet another reason for clients to seek the services of a valuer.
Valuations often need to be in the form of a formal report to satisfy all parties - a client, their professional adviser or the Inland Revenue. Sometimes, however, a client just wants guidance on the value of something: a piece of land, their house, an easement. Market appraisals are different as they lead to testing that market.
A property is 'worth what someone is prepared to pay for it'. But only one person pays the top price. A valuer cannot anticipate that personal best bid. We tend not to be surprised at what a property has made because of that individual interest. So a valuation by its nature may be a more sober figure to denote the wider market interest where more than one person may compete.