The following Private Client practice note produced in partnership with Ailsa Moorhouse of Penningtons Manches Cooper provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
When an individual dies they are considered to have made a 'transfer of value' equal to the value of their estate immediately before death. This transfer is chargeable to inheritance tax (IHT). As a result, depending on its value and the availability of exemptions and/or reliefs, the estate may be liable to IHT.
This potential IHT liability and their statutory duty to report the value of the estate to HMRC (whether directly to HMRC or via the probate registry with the application for the grant of representation, depending on whether or not the estate is an 'excepted estate') is one reason the personal representatives (PRs) must value the contents of an estate. Doing so is a necessary part of the process to obtain a grant of representation from the probate registry. When signing the IHT account, the PRs must confirm that the information they are providing is correct and complete and that they have made the fullest enquiries that are reasonably practicable in the circumstances to determine the value of the assets declared in the IHT account.
Valuation is also undertaken to determine the value of the estate passing to the PRs under the grant of representation (which may differ from the value of the estate for IHT purposes, eg where there are assets passing to a surviving joint tenant
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