Throughout my training in probate valuations I have gained a breadth of experience working in a professional environment, I have been surprised by the sheer variety of contents belonging to estates from war medals and Royal Mint Jubilee coins to tractors and rotavators. I started my training through shadowing Jeremy and Ellie, both enhancing and building on valuation and analytical skills – through implementing “Probator”, our new software created by the team allowing both ourselves, executors and solicitors to directly access the progress of the valuation and actions of the estate.
The new platform can be accessed through tablets and phones, allowing users to track the stage of the valuation, and to give instruction on the outcome of the probate – there is an option to both manage bequests and instruct items for sale or for clearance – we work in partnership with the charity Acorns Children’s Hospice who carry out our clearances. Acorns recycle items of no commercial value, reducing landfill costs – this is very attractive to executors and solicitors. The app has been very successful both with solicitors and clients who are very keen to work with us and trial the technology.
Whilst training I have visited numerous properties throughout the Midlands from large houses with hidden bedrooms in the attic to extremely cluttered properties where access has been difficult. Each probate provides different challenges for both ourselves and solicitors, we never know what to expect when we first embark on the initial valuation stage – the process is very comprehensive and we need to take the time to inspect every corner of the property as there are often many hidden gems in estates. It can be emotional looking through other people’s cherished possessions and a sensitive approach is essential during a difficult time for loved ones, I have discovered an array of assets including a pocket-sized photograph of a deceased’s late husband from World War One to an assortment of signed Elvis Presley memorabilia. Who knows what treasures will be discovered next.