Wills, Probate, Tax and Trusts


Our Wills, Probate, Tax and Trusts Legal Hour is hosted by Vicky Tassell, Solicitor in our Wills, Probate, Tax and Trusts department.

If you require further help regarding Wills, probate, tax and trusts, please phone us on 01279 755777 or contact Vicky Tassell directly.
Our Wills, Probate, Tax and Trusts Team will be hosting the Nockolds Legal Hour on the following dates:

Wednesday 9th August 2017  12pm - 1pm 
Wednesday 20th September 2017  12pm - 1pm 
Wednesday 1st November 2017  12pm - 1pm 
Wednesday 13th December 2017 12pm - 1pm 

Our Latest Legal Hour Questions (28.06.17)

Read your previously answered questions here
I have recently downsized and would like to make some large gifts to my children from my surplus cash. I know that the seven  year rule will apply, but how do HMRC actually find out that I have made the gifts?

Your Personal Representatives will be required to investigate and notify HMRC of any gifts made in the last seven years. 

If you have made a Will you will have chosen people to act as your Executors. If you have not and your estate will be administered under the intestacy rules then whichever of your beneficiaries ends up dealing with the estate will be your Administrator. Executors and Administrators are both types of Personal Representatives.

Personal Representatives have a responsibility to ensure the correct amount of Inheritance Tax is paid on your estate. In order to work out the tax payable, they must make reasonable enquiries of family, friends, beneficiaries, solicitors and even accountants connected with your estate to establish whether any gifts were made in the 7 years prior to your death. Any gifts that they become aware of must be reported to HMRC. 

If a Personal Representative is aware of a gift which they fail to declare they could find themselves personally liable to additional penalties and interest payments. However, where Personal Representatives have made all reasonable enquiries but the recipient of the gift has lied and failed to make the Personal Representative aware, the beneficiary of the lifetime gift (i.e. your children in this case) would be personally liable for both the additional Inheritance Tax along with penalties for potentially lost revenue to the HMRC. 

My mother has recently passed away and I am her only child and the only beneficiary of her estate. I have been able to close her bank accounts and would now like to sell her property. How do I go about this?
People are often able to deal with bank account balances under a certain limit (generally around £30,000) without the need to obtain a Grant of Probate, under each banks own ‘small estates procedure’. However, in order to deal with larger assets, such as a property in your mother’s sole name, the institution involved or the buyer of the property will require proof that you have authority to deal with the asset on behalf of your mother’s estate. This proof takes the form of the Grant of Probate.
You will therefore need to do the relevant Inheritance Tax return (which form to use depends upon the circumstances). This will need to be done irrespective of whether any tax is payable on the estate. Once the Inheritance Tax forms have been completed you will then need to apply to the local Probate District Registry to obtain the Grant itself.

We can assist in all aspects of this process and I would therefore recommend making an appointment to talk matters through.