Probate forms explained
Previously we have gone through the PA series of application forms you will need for probate, if you haven’t already you can read it here. The PA1 form is the simplest in the process the IHT forms is where it starts to get a little more complicate. This post goes through and explains the forms you will need when applying for probate for an estate using the IHT 205 where there is no inheritance tax to pay.
The first thing you need to do is establish which IHT forms you will need, there are a few factors that will determine this but the easiest and most obvious way to establish what forms to use is whether or not the estate is over the current inheritance tax threshold of £325,000. Therefore you will need to work out an estimation of the total value of the estate. The general rule is that if the estate is under £325,000 you will need to use the IHT 205, where as if it is over £325,000 then you will need to use IHT400. In most cases this rule will apply however there are some exceptions and that is dependent on each individual estate but the forms do offer direction to the correct forms when you are filling them in. Once you have established which forms to use you can start looking into what information you will need to gather in order to complete them.
Inheritance tax forms on an estate with no inheritance tax to pay the IHT 205, IHT 207 AND IHT 217.
The IHT205 – The IHT 205 is used when there is no inheritance tax to be paid on an estate that’s total value is less than the inheritance tax threshold of £325,000. The 205 in comparison to the IHT 400 is by far simpler, it doesn’t ask for additional forms breaking down the value of assets like the 400 does.
There are a few other circumstances where the IHT205 can also be used. Firstly for an estate passing from a spouse to their surviving partner and is worth less than £1million, this is because there is in the majority of cases no inheritance tax to be paid between spouses.
The second being for estates under £650,000 if there is a spouse’s nil-rate band available to use but in this cases the 205 must be accompanied by the corresponding IHT217 nil-rate transfer form which is explained in greater detail later in the post.
There are 14 questions on the IHT 2015 but a lot of these questions have sub-questions. The first batch of questions (question 2 through 8) are there to confirm that you are using the correct form and if not, to direct you to the IHT400. After this initial batch the remaining questions are relatively straight forward if you have gathered the correct information.
IHT 217 – The IHT 207 is used to claim a transfer of unused nil rate band for excepted estates (estates less than £650,000 which is the 2 nil rate bands combined). The 207 must be accompanied by the corresponding IHT205 and must be sent no later than 24 months after the end of the month in which the deceased died.
There are very specific conditions to the nil-rate band transfer and if you answer yes to any other the questions it will direct you to the IHT400 and its own version of the nil rate band transfer the IHT402.
The IHT217 is specifically used on estates where the first deceased spouse left everything to their partner who survived them, there can be no legacies to other family members or friends otherwise the amount left in legacies will be taken away from their nil rate band. If that is the case you cannot use this form you will need to use the IHT400 and the IHT402.
For example if a wife passed away in 2001 after the 6th of April when the nil rate band was 242k and left £1000 to 2 grandchildren combing to be £2000. The £2000 will be removed from the nil rate band and the remainder could be transferred to the spouse but they would have to use the IHT400 and IHT402.
IHT 207 – This form is only used when the deceased had their permanent home abroad and their assets in the UK consisted of cash, or quoted stocks and shares only, the gross value of which was less than £150,000.
IHT208 – This is a booklet that will guide you through the IHT 207 application. It explains the process of applying for probate when the deceased was not a British Resident, which it is a slightly different to the process involved in the IHT205. It is also important to bear in mind that you may require translations of the will and death certificate for the application.
If after following the government provided guides you still do not feel confident in applying for probate yourself or if you are the executor of a more complicated estate you can speak to a member of our team who can provide you with a fixed fee quote for probate on 08007318722 or send us an inquiry via our website.