If you are the executor or the administrator for someone who has died, it is likely that you will need to complete HM Revenue & Customs’ (HMRC) form IHT 400, which provides the authorities with the information needed to determine how much inheritance tax is payable, and how the estate should be distributed (if there is no will).
When completing the form you should pay careful attention to which sections you need to complete, for example if you answer No to question 24, you can proceed directly to question 29.
The information you may need to supply on the form includes:
- The deceased’s name and date of death
- Where they were domiciled at the time of death
- Whether the person was married or in a civil partnership
- What other surviving relatives the deceased had, such as siblings, parents, children and great-grandchildren
- The name and contact details of persons dealing with the estate
- If the deceased had a will
- Whether items were given away by the deceased prior to their death
- What assets the deceased held, and what these were worth
- How the level of inheritance tax payable should be calculated from the figures on the form
The form must be completed within 12 months of the death. You are expected to make full enquiries as to the value of each of the deceased’s assets, and only make a provisional estimate if you have been unable to accurately identify the true value. Should you subsequently become aware of the correct value, you should notify HMRC immediately.
Unless the deceased’s estate is an ‘excepted estate’ you should assume that you need to complete an IHT 400. Excepted estates include those where:
- The gross value of the estate does not exceed £1 million and either the Spouse or Civil Partner Exemption or the Charity Exemption applies
- The estate is a ‘low value estate’, one of the criteria for which is that the gross value of the estate does not exceed the Inheritance Tax nil rate band, which is currently £325,000
- The gross value of the estate in the UK does not exceed £150,000 as a result of the deceased having been domiciled abroad
Although the IHT 400 can legally be completed without any legal assistance it can be a tricky process and the help of a solicitor can ensure the process runs smoothly. Completion of IHT 400 is one of the many services we provide here at Courmacs.