Guide to Probate


Free guide to the probate process.

1. Valuables vs. Rubbish

Once you’ve decided to go ahead with the clearance, it’s a good idea to go through the house and separate any sentimental items or personal affects which you wish to keep. Then set aside items, which you would like to sell through traditional or online auctions, markets or fairs, or anything you’d like to donate to good causes. The final category would be anything you are willing to have cleared. Label these items with post-it notes, or secure items you wish to keep in a locked room to make sure there is no mix-up.

2. Items for Auction

Once you have chosen the items you wish to keep and those you want to be cleared or donate, you may have some items that you would like to sell through auction. At Countrywide Removals Ltd, we can help deliver the items for you.

4. How much needs to be cleared

Before you call to arrange clearance, it’s best for you to estimate how much you have to be cleared. One of our Luton vans would hold the equivalent of one single garage full of items and furniture, which is around 20 cubic yards or 3 builders’ skips. If you can estimate how much of the truck your items would fill, we can provide an estimated quote over the phone. Alternatively, one of our team can visit you at the property at your convenience and assess the cost to clear the items that you have. We will provide you with a written quote, with no obligation and if you find a cheaper quote, we will do our best to price match.

5. Clear It

When you have decided what to keep, what to sell and what to donate, you should decide which services will be of most use to you:

(a) Removals

When choosing a removal company ensure they are fully insured for collection and transit and that they have CRB checked.

Alternatively, you could hire a van and do the removal yourself. This will save some money but of course you will have to move everything yourself too, and this could be very difficult especially if there is a lot of bulky items like furniture. Packing and loading carefully can make an impact on whether your items arrive at your new location safely.

(b) Donation

Donating items to local charities or organisations is a great way for furniture or other items to be reused by someone less fortunate and help a good cause. Please be aware that charities can only accept items that have the correct Fire Safety tags and materials and some electrical items might not be accepted.

(c) Disposal

If you have access to a large vehicle and decide to save money by disposing of the items yourself, you will need to consider the rules of your local authority. Some may charge for numerous or excess trips to the local tip, so call ahead to find out if this is the case. You will also need a waste carriers’ licence to carry waste to a licensed transfer station.

(d) Skip Hire

You may also consider hiring a skip. This would, of course, be dropped off outside the premises to be filled. Skips are charged at a flat rate, but they require a skip permit and parking suspension from the local council if they are parked on the road. Prices vary dependent on the size of the skip, as well as the parking suspension and permit costs. Certain items such as hazardous waste (fridges, freezers, etc) can not be placed in a skip and would have to be disposed of correctly.

(e) Property Clearance and waste disposal companies

The simplest solution to dealing with a probate clearance is to call Countrywide Removals Ltd. At Countrywide, we can clear, load and dispose of everything you need to get rid of, from single items to multiple van loads. We charge by volume cleared, so you won’t pay for skip space you don’t use, and we donate and recycle wherever possible.

Alternatively, there are a lot of waste contractors or ‘Man & Van’ operators you will find in your local directory. If you wish to opt for one of these, ask for a reference, proof they are licensed to carry waste, confirmation that their employees are CRB checked and insured before you make any bookings.

6. And don’t forget.

Take care of your confidential documents as identity theft is a growing problem in the UK. Dispose of bank statements, credit card records and health records by shredding. Be careful if you are taking on a house clearance for a deceased relative as you may need some personal documents at a later date, so only shred anything you are sure you will not need. If in doubt, check with your solicitor or the executor dealing with the estate. More information on identity theft can be find via the Home Office.