Q&As

What are the rights of residuary beneficiaries to interim payments prior to the settling of any liability to IHT and must the PRs wait for the sale of assets before being liable to pay that IHT? Also, what are the rights of residuary beneficiaries to request information and dispute invoices raised by solicitor executors?

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Published on LexisPSL on 20/02/2017

The following Wills & Probate Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • What are the rights of residuary beneficiaries to interim payments prior to the settling of any liability to IHT and must the PRs wait for the sale of assets before being liable to pay that IHT? Also, what are the rights of residuary beneficiaries to request information and dispute invoices raised by solicitor executors?
  • The rights of residuary beneficiaries to interim payments prior to the settling of any liability to IHT
  • Must the PRs wait for the sale of assets before being liable to pay that IHT?
  • The rights of residuary beneficiaries to request information and dispute invoices raised by solicitor executors

The rights of residuary beneficiaries to interim payments prior to the settling of any liability to IHT

Under section 44 of the Administration of Estates Act 1925 (AEA 1925), personal representatives (PRs) have at least a year from the date of death before beneficiaries can call on them to distribute any part of the estate.

While the estate is being administered, the ownership in the deceased's unadministered assets lies in the PRs for the purposes of administration, without any distinction between legal and equitable interests. No beneficiary in the meantime, whether under the deceased's Will or intestacy has any proprietary interest in any particular asset comprised in the unadministered estate. The beneficiary's entitlement during the administration is to a chose in action, ie the right to require the deceased's estate to be duly administered. See section Beneficiaries' rights and remedies—Rights of beneficiaries during the administration of Practice Note: Beneficiaries' rights and remedies. See also Practice Note: Payment of legacies.

A PR is however not bound to wait 12 months before he makes a distribution. PRs have a duty to submit an inheritance tax (IHT) account under section 216 of the Inheritance Tax Act 1984 (IHTA 1984). This must be delivered before the expiration of the period of twelve months from the end of the month in which the death occurs, or, if it expires later, the period

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