Auctioneer Richard Winterton explains more about how The Lichfield Auction Centre can help people who have sadly lost a loved one.
A few years ago two sisters stood on a beach at Torquay and held hands. It was something of a bittersweet seaside trip, following their own childhood footsteps to mark the passing of their mum.
Each would have worn a piece of her jewellery but the daughters had very different tastes and decided it would be better to sell her ‘treasure trove’ – as they had called it as girls decades before – rather than it end up neglected and inevitably gathering dust.
Instead they would use the money to buy something else in memoriam. But what?
Looking out to sea on that cold afternoon the sun suddenly illuminated this scene so evocative of their formative years. It was something of a lightbulb moment.
Walking back through town they passed shops selling local paintings at either end of the street. Two very different takes on that evocative view; each loved by one of the sisters. Those paintings still hang pride of place in their homes!
That story has never left me and I’ve never forgotten that philosophy. There are other ways of using the money, whether it’s another piece of jewellery, a painting or even a holiday. It doesn’t mean you’re unsentimental.
The death of a loved one or cherished friend is, sadly, a heart-breaking fact of life.
As well as the emotional upheaval it can be a particularly unsettling time because of all the legalese and heavy-duty officialdom one is suddenly faced with for the first time.
For tax purposes, when someone dies the total value of their estate must be calculated – a process called probate, usually the responsibility of the executor.
One less worry to have is knowing where to have that all-important valuation for probate conducted.
Having a professional handle probate for you dots the Is, crosses the Ts and makes the whole process smoother at a time when ironing out even the smallest complication can feel like the toughest test in the world.
We take pride and infinite pains in offering a professional, confidential service with understanding, compassionate valuers, handling estates of all shapes and sizes, each with their own personal level of complexity.
It’s the same approach for estate clearances.
What a colossal task clearing a property can seem – and throw in that emotional, personal connection and it can seem a gargantuan undertaking.
If the property is full, we’ll check everything – the house, the attic, any cellars, garages, the gardens, any sheds, outbuildings, greenhouses, conservatories, orangeries… we leave no stone unturned.
Over the years I have seen so many attics stacked floor-to-ceiling and garages racked wall-to-wall and whether it’s a bulging basement or unloved outbuilding, these places are so often chock-a-block with opportunity.
We don’t cherry-pick. We never forget that this is someone else’s home and belongings – possibly accumulated over an entire lifetime – and we treat everything with respect, whether it’s worth a tenner or £10,000.
Our team caters for all properties ranging from houses, bungalows and flats to schools, offices, shops, even factories.
It means the day-to-day possibilities really are exciting. There could be one tiny gem in an entire property or there could be dozens – and they could be anything from anywhere in the world.
Our dedicated team meticulously sift through everything and if there’s something there, we’ll find it!
It’s the same scenario for jewellery.
In deceased estates there’s always a box of jewellery in a drawer and people don’t know what to do with it.
You would be surprised how often a load of old scrap turns out to not be scrap at all!
So before you scrap, before you sell, before you do anything, please get it checked.
Our firm is an associate member of the National Association of Jewellers and all members of our jewellery department are certified gemmologists and diamond graders.
From mixed boxes of jewellery to top end finery, we are comfortable dealing with the whole range – and that equally applies to house clearances and probate valuations. We’re like a one-stop shop!
Whether you are an executor administering probate, investigating downsizing options for yourself or just keen to clear clutter, we’re always happy to have a look with a free, no obligation home visit and quotation and give you some honest advice.
Just about anything you can think of can pass through The Lichfield Auction Centre, from watches, jewellery and furniture to specialist militaria, coins, silver, stamps, ceramics, vintage toys, comics and Pokemon cards – the ultimate modern day collectable!
Everything from boxes of mixed lots to automobiles can – and does – go under the hammer in our online-only auctions.
So even if everything seems dark now, give us a call and let us help provide you with your own lightbulb moment.
For a free home visit to discuss house clearances, downsizing, probate assistance or large collections, contact The Lichfield Auction Centre on 01543 251081, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.richardwinterton.co.uk
What is probate?
Probate (or confirmation of will in Scotland) is the handling of the estate of a deceased person.
It is a figure on which Inheritance Tax can be calculated and a valuation for the purpose of probate is required to comply with section 160 of the Inheritance Act 1984.
When probate is granted the executor has the legal right to distribute the items in the estate as the deceased wished.
Probate values reflect the condition the property was in at the date of death and represent the hammer prices likely to have been achieved at public auction on the date of death.
Probate reflects the hammer price at auction and does not take into account any commissions and/or premiums payable.