Transfer of unused of Nil Rate Band from death of pre-deceased Spouse

Just a quick overview of the situation followed by my question:

My mother passed in 2014 and made no gifts to anyone so all went to the surviving spouse (My father) so not using any of her Nil Rate Band allowance . My father has recently passed (Dec 2023) and as an executor I'm handling his affairs. His estate is simple in the sense that he didn't own property or shares at time of death but just Savings, ISAs and Bonds (All in the UK) and he has a Will leaving is estate to me and two grandchildren. His estate totals to around 540k exceeding his personal IHT NRB. 
I've walked carefully through the minefield of IHT rules and have concluded that is estate is an 'Excepted' estate. As he has left a Will, the HMRC site says that I can transfer my mother's NRB allowance by applying for Probate on the PA1P and fill in no other forms.
This appears to be a simple tick box in section 7.7 of the PA1P but on the face of it requires no proof/evidence.

My question is:- Has anyone done this and been requested to supply evidence of the pre-deceased spouse affairs or is it all taken on trust?

Reading the HMRC IHT rules, all sorts of forms needed to be complete for deaths prior to 1st Jan 2022.(Including transferring unused NRB allowance within 2 years) I've spoken to someone at HMRC who sort of confirmed this, but please forgive me for being distrustful as the HMRC person didn't come across as being too professional and I do not want to be hit with a massive fine and penalty.

Any feedback and experience would be gratefully appreciated. 
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Comments

  • You are correct that this is an excepted estate, and it is highly unlikely that there will be request for any information regards your mother’s estate.
  • H657
    H657 Posts: 18
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    This is exactly the same situation as my mother’s estate which I dealt with earlier this year (Dad died 2015 leaving everything to mum, no gifts to take into account etc). 
    Her estate was £465k & just ticked the box on the probate form to transfer Dad’s NRB. Didn’t have to fill in any other forms (like you I was amazed & relieved it was so simple)
    Had no queries about it.
  • You are correct that this is an excepted estate, and it is highly unlikely that there will be request for any information regards your mother’s estate.
    Thanks Keep_Pedalling really appreciate the reply
  • H657 said:
    This is exactly the same situation as my mother’s estate which I dealt with earlier this year (Dad died 2015 leaving everything to mum, no gifts to take into account etc). 
    Her estate was £465k & just ticked the box on the probate form to transfer Dad’s NRB. Didn’t have to fill in any other forms (like you I was amazed & relieved it was so simple)
    Had no queries about it.
    Thanks for coming back to me on this and confirming no additional forms to fill in. HMRC need to produce a decent flowchart or IHT
  • tasticz
    tasticz Posts: 764
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    Forumite
    You are correct that this is an excepted estate, and it is highly unlikely that there will be request for any information regards your mother’s estate.
    H657 said:
    This is exactly the same situation as my mother’s estate which I dealt with earlier this year (Dad died 2015 leaving everything to mum, no gifts to take into account etc). 
    Her estate was £465k & just ticked the box on the probate form to transfer Dad’s NRB. Didn’t have to fill in any other forms (like you I was amazed & relieved it was so simple)
    Had no queries about it.
    H657 said:
    This is exactly the same situation as my mother’s estate which I dealt with earlier this year (Dad died 2015 leaving everything to mum, no gifts to take into account etc). 
    Her estate was £465k & just ticked the box on the probate form to transfer Dad’s NRB. Didn’t have to fill in any other forms (like you I was amazed & relieved it was so simple)
    Had no queries about it.
    Thanks for coming back to me on this and confirming no additional forms to fill in. HMRC need to produce a decent flowchart or IHT

    My father passed away during Covid, everything went to mum. We didn't need probate as house was jointly owned and small amount of cash which bank sent without any query. I haven't filled any HMRC form for my Dad other than the self-assessment form as he had taxes to pay. They sent a letter saying nothing more is owed by him.

    Do I still need to complete the IHT205 form first for my dad and get some kind of letter from HMRC for my Dad in order to be able to transfer the unused nil rate band in future when I come to sort my mums affairs out?

  • tasticz said:
    You are correct that this is an excepted estate, and it is highly unlikely that there will be request for any information regards your mother’s estate.
    H657 said:
    This is exactly the same situation as my mother’s estate which I dealt with earlier this year (Dad died 2015 leaving everything to mum, no gifts to take into account etc). 
    Her estate was £465k & just ticked the box on the probate form to transfer Dad’s NRB. Didn’t have to fill in any other forms (like you I was amazed & relieved it was so simple)
    Had no queries about it.
    H657 said:
    This is exactly the same situation as my mother’s estate which I dealt with earlier this year (Dad died 2015 leaving everything to mum, no gifts to take into account etc). 
    Her estate was £465k & just ticked the box on the probate form to transfer Dad’s NRB. Didn’t have to fill in any other forms (like you I was amazed & relieved it was so simple)
    Had no queries about it.
    Thanks for coming back to me on this and confirming no additional forms to fill in. HMRC need to produce a decent flowchart or IHT

    My father passed away during Covid, everything went to mum. We didn't need probate as house was jointly owned and small amount of cash which bank sent without any query. I haven't filled any HMRC form for my Dad other than the self-assessment form as he had taxes to pay. They sent a letter saying nothing more is owed by him.

    Do I still need to complete the IHT205 form first for my dad and get some kind of letter from HMRC for my Dad in order to be able to transfer the unused nil rate band in future when I come to sort my mums affairs out?

    Assuming your mum is still alive you do not need to do anything. In the event of your mum’s death then you can claim your dad’s Nil Rate Band allowance to be transferred to your mum’s estate either via Probate if it’s an Excepted estate and certain conditions are met. If it’s not Excepted estate then form IHT400 and a load of other forms.
  • You won’t need to complete any probate or IHT forms regarding your father’s estate on your mother’s death. 
  • You won’t need to complete any probate or IHT forms regarding your father’s estate on your mother’s death. 

    This sounds very simple, too simple even. We are in a very similar position, Mum died Jan 23, her half of house automatically went to Dad by notifying Land registry via form, they had a joint bank account with small amount of cash and pension in and that was her estate. Dad was already in a home so we sold their house a few months back and put that in his account also, he just dies and so he now has just way below the £650k limit of cash sat in bank and that's it. The above seems to mean no IHT400 or even probate, but how can my brother and I as executors split the cash 4 ways without probate? I’m not even sure the bank allows us access to the current & savings account officially anymore now the LPA our 2 sisters had is effectively now null. Like someone said a nice easy to follow flow chart / decision tree would be good.


  • H657
    H657 Posts: 18
    First Anniversary First Post
    Forumite

    This sounds very simple, too simple even. We are in a very similar position, Mum died Jan 23, her half of house automatically went to Dad by notifying Land registry via form, they had a joint bank account with small amount of cash and pension in and that was her estate. Dad was already in a home so we sold their house a few months back and put that in his account also, he just dies and so he now has just way below the £650k limit of cash sat in bank and that's it. The above seems to mean no IHT400 or even probate, but how can my brother and I as executors split the cash 4 ways without probate? I’m not even sure the bank allows us access to the current & savings account officially anymore now the LPA our 2 sisters had is effectively now null. Like someone said a nice easy to follow flow chart / decision tree would be good.

    You will need to apply for probate, but only for your father’s estate (nothing retrospectively for your Mum). If your father has now died and his total estate is < £650k, then this will count as an excepted estate as you can use both mum and dad’s £325k NRB IHT allowance, and therefore no IHT forms to complete (just a box in the probate form to tick)

    If the estate were > £650k you would be able to use RNRB (as house was sold due to care home move), but this involves one of the IHT forms needing completing.
  • Ok thanks, sounds very efficient...
    We had a minor query as HMRC on the phone suggested we still have to fill in IHT402 to transfer mums NRB and also said to mentioned there's £3k gift (total) for this tax year and also £3k (total) backdated from previous tax year, but presume that's just needed if not doing it via the Probate form and since the 2 x £3k is below the annual limits not even needed to be mentioned?
    Did you do the probate via the mentioned PA1P form or is the online Probate application just the same thing and sufficient?
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