Several questions about trying to do IHT and probate without solicitors


My father passed away last September, and I'm named as one of three executors in the will. I'm hoping to be able to sort this out without needing to pay a solicitor. Have done some online research and got a few questions. The situation is that:

Will leaves everything to my mother.
Everything = house (where my mother lives), its contents, old car (worth about £3500), and £200k spread across various accounts (some joint, some sole).

1. Might I seriously have to pay inheritance tax before I can get this probate thing that's needed to release the money?

2. My father was helping my three kids with uni fees these last 5 years, probably paid about £60k in total - I assume I'd need to put these as gifts on the inheritance tax forms.

3. I see the inheritance tax form asks for value of home contents. Honestly it's all old and nothing special 70s/80s/90s furniture, ageing appliances, normal clothes, books - if things were to be sold they would sell for next to nothing, and some things would just have to go to the dump. However if the house burned down and all these things had to be replaced new for old, it would come to 10s of thousands I'd guess. How do I value the home contents?

4. I did get a letter from HMRC, talking about taxes paid in the past year, and asking who the executor was. I sent it back with my details two weeks ago now and have heard nothing. Should I wait or just go ahead with doing the IHT form?


  • Flugelhorn
    Flugelhorn Posts: 5,414
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    edited 16 November 2023 at 4:46PM
    I think if everything is left to your mother then there is no IHT and also begs the question why you need probate? most banks allow transfer of money with just the sight if the death cert and will - up to significant levels. Anything joint is now your mother's anyway 
  • p00hsticks
    p00hsticks Posts: 12,579
    First Post Name Dropper Photogenic First Anniversary
    I agree  with Flugelhorn - assuming we are talking England or Wales here, if everything has been left to your mother then there is no IHT to pay and no need for probate.  

  • You certainly do not need to submit an IHT return as this is an exempt estate and you only need probate for any of his sole assets that can’t be released without it. If he only has cash savings the banks and building societies then unless any of the sole accounts exceed the limits the individual institutions put in place before they will require probate then you may find you don't need to apply for probate at all. 

    Contact the bereavement team for each of the banks concerned. The joint accounts are now entirely your mother’s so the banks just need informing of his death.

    As for the gifts were they joint or solely from him? These only come in to play for your mother’s estate at they will reduce the amount of transferable NRB available, but some of the gift will be exempt and covered by his / their annual allowances. 
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