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Probate, letters of representation - start of process

(6 Posts)
fingersandthumbs Tue 18-Oct-11 10:04:13

I have been named as executor in my grandmothers will. I have downloaded a lot of forms and information from the HMRC website, lots of it really useful and surprisingly easy to understand.

My stumbling point, however, has come right at the very start of the process. I know I need to apply for letters of representation so that I can get access to bank accounts, shares etc but do I need to know when I send in the form PA1
whether the estate is likely to be above or below the IHT threshold?

From some of the paperwork that I have found at my grandmothers it is likely that the estate could be very close to the IHT limits but until I have access to her various bank accounts etc I'm not going to know for sure. The form PA1 at the very end asks about whether a IHT400 (if estate over IHT limit) has been completed or if an IHT205 (under IHT limit) is attached.

So my question is do I need to complete either an IHT205 or IHT400 when I send in the PA1 or can these be completed at a later date once I have been able to find out value of estate?

Thank you

mumblechum1 Tue 18-Oct-11 10:26:38

If your grandmother was widowed, the threshold will be £650k, not the £325k that it would be if she was divorced or single.

Does that help at all?

fingersandthumbs Tue 18-Oct-11 11:10:14

Hi mumblechum,

yes she was widowed but my grandfather used some of his IHT allowance with gifts from his estate, so even with unused percentage of his allowance added to her allowance her estate may still just breach IHT limit - unfortunately I'm not going to know this for sure until I can gain access to the various savings accounts and shares that she had. And to do this I need the letters of representation and the form to apply for letters of representation do mention both IHT400 and IHT205 on the last page. Quite how you're supposed to know approx value of estate without having access to the financial accounts I'm not too sure.

I must be missing something really obvious.

Thanks for replying

F&T

emsyj Tue 18-Oct-11 22:15:09

You don't need to send a Grant of Probate to get details - just a death certificate. As you are not a solicitor they might then write back and ask for a copy of the Will showing that you are the executor, but they should then give you the information.

It is very normal to request information from the banks and other asset providers as you do need to (a) fill in the IHT return and (b) pay any tax due in order to make your application for the grant of probate. They should be used to this sort of request.

I hope that helps. Have you tried to obtain probate valuations and been refused? I think perhaps you might need to state explicitly in the letter that you are the executor (if you haven't done so) and that you need the information for probate purposes. You will certainly need to send a death certificate to get any information, but not a Grant.

fingersandthumbs Thu 20-Oct-11 12:05:43

Emsyj - thank you, your reply makes so much sense and I'm going to do as you suggest, copy of death certificate and copy of her will confirming I'm executor. It hadn't clicked that this would be the way around it.

Thank you

F&T

emsyj Thu 20-Oct-11 13:56:46

No worries smile

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