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HMRC internal manual

Inheritance Tax Manual

Structure of the charge: what is general power property?

Property (IHTM04030) brought within a person’s estate (IHTM04029) by IHTA84/S5 (2) includes

  • on that person’s death, unsettled property which he or she can dispose of by will (Att Gen v Quixley [1929] 141 LT 288)
  • an absolute interest in property which is given (whether by lifetime transfer or on death) to a person, but which he (or his personal representative) disclaims. The property is included in the person’s estate on the grounds that he had a power enabling him to ‘dispose of property as he thinks fit’. This is subject to the reliefs in IHTA84/S17 (1), IHTA84/S93 and IHTA84/S142.
  • some policies with certain Canadian insurance companies (IHTM20611).

There are two special rules for pension schemes which mean that a ‘general power’ as defined in IHTA84/S5 (2) does not apply

  • to certain unexercised cash options under approved annuity schemes, (IHTM17000) IHTA84/S152, and
  • approved pension schemes (IHTM20000) etc, even though the property concerned may be settled property, IHTA84/S151 (4).