Q. I am one of the executors for my late friend’s estate and have been given the responsibility of selling his house; can you give me some advice on the best way of moving forward on this?

A. Before you do anything else you will need to get the property professionally valued regardless of your intention to sell or not. The reason for this is that your friend’s estate must be assessed for inheritance tax – and any liability must be paid before probate can be granted. Probate, incidentally is the legal authority you will need to have before you are able to start distributing your friend’s estate in accordance with his will. Most Estate Agents will be more that happy to co-operate and carry out a free valuation with a formal written appraisal for probate purposes. You will also need to have the contents valued for inheritance tax purposes. Once this process is completed and you have been granted probate, you will be free to place the house on the market for sale and either distribute or dispose of the contents as desired. If time is urgent, you can put the house on the market before probate is granted, although it must be in place before contracts are exchanged.