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If the deceased owned assets or property jointly with other people, you need to work out the value of their share. You usually work out the value based on the proportion they owned, but sometimes different rules apply.
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There are different legal ways that the deceased person could have owned property or assets:
In Scotland, joint tenants are called joint owners and tenants in common are called common owners. Jointly and commonly owned property and assets in Scotland are usually passed on under a will. If there isn't a will, they are passed on through a strict next-of-kin order of priority defined in the 'rules of intestacy'.
In Northern Ireland the terms are the same as for England and Wales but a tenant in common can also be called a 'coparcener'.
The value of a share of a house or land that's owned jointly depends on:
When you value a share of a house or land that's jointly owned, you need to find out the market value of the whole property. Then you can work out the value of each share based on the proportion of the property the person owned.
If the deceased person jointly owned a house or land with a spouse or civil partner, you should use the value of the deceased person's share in your valuation. You can't reduce the value of their share to reflect any difficulties in selling joint property.
If the property is jointly owned with someone who isn't the deceased person's spouse or civil partner, you can reduce the value of the deceased person's share. As a starting point, you can reduce the value of the share by 10 per cent.
This reduction reflects:
For example: two sisters, Jean and Muriel, live together in a house that they own jointly in Wales. The house is worth £500,000 when Jean dies.
£500,000 ÷ 2 = £250,000
£250,000 - 10 per cent = £225,000
Jean's share is therefore valued at £225,000
The rules are different in Scotland because a joint owner has the right to force a sale and divide the joint assets or property after another joint owner dies. As a starting point you should take off £4,000 from the value of the whole property before you work out the value of the deceased person's share rather than reducing the value of the share by 10 per cent. This amount reflects the possible legal costs of the joint owner taking this action.
Remember, the reductions you apply are only starting points and may have to be changed or agreed at a later date with the valuation office. The valuation office will contact you directly if they want to discuss a valuation.
The deceased person may have provided all the money in a bank account and the account may be in joint names just for convenience. In that case, you need to include in your valuation all the money that was in the account on the date the person died.
If another person had provided some of the money in the account, you only include the amount that the deceased person provided.
With jointly owned insurance policies you only include the deceased person's share, even if the policy is a 'joint life and survivor policy'. The deceased person's share is half the value of the policy.
The insurance company should be able to estimate the value of the whole policy at the date of death. So you can use that to work out the value of the deceased person's share.
If the deceased person owned any other assets jointly, you'll need to: