Q&A Do executors need to calculate inheritance tax before applying for Probate?

Q:      Our uncle has been given just a short time to live and my sister and I are his sole executors. We are planning to apply for Probate ourselves and want to be well prepared to start the process as soon as he passes. Someone has told us that before we can get Probate, we will have to calculate any inheritance tax liability. So that we do not make any mistakes, please can you explain the process?

A:       The Grant of Probate is necessary to confirm that you have legal authority to administer the estate of someone who has died, in line with their Will. Before you can apply for the Grant you must value the deceased’s estate and calculate how much inheritance tax (IHT) is due, as the Grant will usually not be issued until you have either paid the amount of IHT due, or else provided proof that there is no IHT to pay. Completing the correct IHT forms and submitting them to HMRC or the Probate Registry is part of the application.

When calculating inheritance tax liability, it is important that you arrive at the correct figure, as overcalculating the amount due could result in the estate paying more than is necessary, and undercalculating could mean you being held personally financially liable for any additional amount due. It is important to make the application within six months of the deceased passing away if IHT is due, as the estate will start to attract interest after this time period.

Obtaining probate can be complex, especially if there are matters such as gifted property and exemptions to take into consideration. It is for these reasons that executors often seek legal assistance to take them through the probate process.

This question has been answered by Ulia Choudhry, a Solicitor with GHP Legal.  If you would like to speak to someone about this or any other legal matter it is still possible, and we are doing everything we can to ensure that we continue to offer our high levels of service to our clients.  In accordance with government guidelines, some of our lawyers are currently working remotely which means you may not now receive a response as promptly as you may expect. Please kindly bear with us and we will respond as soon as we are able.

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Ulia Choudhry

Ulia Choudhry


A Partner who specialises in Probate, Wills, Trusts and Tax and is based in Wrexham