Inherited Jewellery: In The UK, Who Gets What?

The passing of a loved one is a difficult and stressful time. Between grieving, making funeral arrangements and sorting through stacks of paperwork, dividing your loved one’s assets can be a long and confusing process. When it comes to inherited jewellery, you may be asking yourself: who gets what? To answer this, we have crafted a comprehensive guide to help you navigate the inheritance process. From finding the Will, distributing assets and what to do if there is no Will, we have the answers to all of your inherited jewellery questions.

Inherited Jewellery In The UK

Steps to take:

  1. Look for a Will
  2. What to do if there is a Will
  3. What to do if there is no Will
  4. Where to sell inherited jewellery

Please note: While our guide to inherited jewelry suggests steps to take during this process, it is advisable to meet with a lawyer experienced in inheritance laws.


1. Look For A Will

Before any of your loved one’s assets can be distributed, their Will must be found. The Will appoints at least one person as the executor who carries out all of the Will’s instructions and distributes the deceased’s assets including property, money and possessions such as jewellery. Ideally, your loved one told you or the executor where they stored their Will. If not, we suggest looking in the following places:

  • The Will may be stored with your loved one’s financial paperwork or in a safety deposit box.
  • Contact the deceased’s lawyer, especially if you know that they drafted the Will together.
  • Contact the Probate Registry to see if they are holding onto the Will.
  • For a small fee you can search the National Will Register to see if a Will was ever made.
  • Complete a lost Will form.

Do not worry if you have searched everywhere and cannot find a Will or know that your loved one never made one, we will discuss what to do in that situation later.


2. What To Do If There Is A Will

THE EXECUTOR: If you have found the Will, read it to see who was appointed the executor. Before any assets can be distrusted, the executor will need to have the deceased’s assets valued and determine their remaining debts, such as credit card bills and loans. Any outstanding debts will be paid with the deceased’s remaining money. If there is not enough money, then their assets will be sold to cover the debts.

INHERITANCE TAX: a 40% inheritance tax must be paid on the estate before anything can be distributed. The inheritance tax needs to be paid by six months after the owner’s passing or interest will be charged. No inheritance tax needs to be paid if:

  • The estate is valued at less than £325,000
  • An estate valued over £325,000 is given entirely to the deceased’s spouse or charity

PROBATE: With this information and the original Will prepared, the executor can apply for probate which grants them the legal right to begin distributing the deceased’s assets in accordance to the Will. However, there are instances where probate is not required:

  • If the estate is worth less than £5,000
  • If the deceased possessed jointly owned land, property or money they automatically pass onto the surviving party

DISTRIBUTION: After the executor pays off the deceased’s remaining debts and inheritance tax, the remaining money, land and property is distributed as detailed by the Will. However, if you were entitled to money, the executor may ask if you would rather accept a different asset in its place such as jewellery or antiques.


3. What To Do If There Is No Will

If your loved one never made a Will or if their Will is not legally valid, they are referred to has having died intestate. In this scenario, their estate is distributed according to the rules of intestacy. Typically, the deceased’s next of kin will appoint themselves as the administrator. The administrator will then apply to the Probate Registry to receive the authority to distribute the estate.

In most cases, the estate will be distributed among the deceased’s family, such as their partner, children and parents. The breakup of assets will depend on the deceased’s remaining family members and value of the estate. Complete this comprehensive quiz from Gov.UK which details how the estate is divided in various scenarios.


4. Where To Sell Inherited Jewellery

After you receive your loved one’s assets, you will need to decide what you will keep and what you will part with. While platforms like eBay and Facebook are good for selling things like clothing, furniture and electronics, they fall short when selling high value items like luxury jewellery. To get competitive and honest offers on inherited jewellery, your best option is to sell directly to expert luxury jewellery buyers. myGemma was founded in 2012 as the modern solution to selling designer and diamond jewellery as well as luxury watches quickly, easily and securely.

What makes myGemma the smarter way to sell luxury jewellery? Selling to myGemma is a streamlined and personalized selling process that can take as little as 48 hours. Your dedicated client manager will guide you through every step of the selling process and work to get you the highest offers. Our team of industry veterans have decades of experience and a rich understanding of the complexities of pricing on the second-hand luxury market. Sell online or in person, our service is always free of charge and there is no obligation to sell. Our commitment to excellence is illustrated by our hundreds of excellent customer reviews.

The selling process is simple: complete our online form to receive a custom price quote. To get a final offer you can either schedule an appointment at one of our offices in Birmingham, London, New York or Hong Kong OR request a free, fully insured, secure and trackable shipping label. After our luxury jewellery team examines your jewellery in person, your client manager will contact you with our final offer. You can accept full payment by bank transfer or request to have your jewelry returned to you for free.

myGemma makes selling luxury jewellery simple and stress-free. See just how much you can get paid today by clicking the button below.