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What is Inheritance Tax [IHT]?

Inheritance tax is payable on the total value of a person’s estate when they die.

This may include gifts made to individuals and trusts during your life time. It is estimated that 36% of the estates left by people in the UK exceed the IHT threshold [£325,000 until 2015] and are a subject to 40% inheritance tax.

Inheritance tax is paid by the executor that you have appointed when you arranged your will. If you don't have a will in place when you die a personal representative or an administrator will be appointed. Inheritance tax is payable within 6 months of death and before probate is issued.


It is important to write a will during your lifetime clearly expressing to whom you would like your assets to go and who you wish to execute your will. Failing to create a valid will can complicate you family's life at a time that is already difficult due to their loss.

In October 2007 the government made it possible to transfer unused inheritance tax thresholds between spouses and civil partners. The threshold can only be transferred once the second person has passed away. Form IHT 402 or IHT 400 will need to be completed to make the claim for inheritance tax threshold transfer. The full and most up to date details can be found on the HMRC website.

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