In order to establish the value of your estate, it is first necessary to calculate the total worth of all your assets. These assets can include:
- Your home;
- Any other property;
- Money and savings;
- Shares and investments;
- Business equity; and
- Cars, jewellery and other personal possessions.
To determine the value of non-monetary assets, a realistic selling price should be used (ie. 'market value'). Any gifts which incur inheritance tax are added to the value of assets. Debts and liabilities are then deducted from this amount, to establish the total value of the estate. Deductions which can be made include:
- Any outstanding bills;
- Mortgage debt;
- Loans, credit cards and overdrafts;
- Gambling debts (except in Northern Ireland); and
- Funeral expenses.