HMRC internal manual

Inheritance Tax Manual

IHTM05103 - Types of grant: other types of grant (England, Wales and Northern Ireland)

Limited grants

The court has the power to grant probate limited by subject matter or time (IHTM5150). It also has the power to grant the administration of the estate to someone the court considers more suitable than the executor appointed in the Will.

Example 1

Liam dies and his will appoints Mona as Executrix of his literary estate and Neil as Executor of the rest of his estate. Mona would need to obtain a limited grant of probate of Liam’s literary estate.

Example 2

When Doreen becomes ill she decides to move into a care home. She puts her house on the market so she can use the proceeds from the sale to pay for her ongoing care. Her estate agent finds a buyer for the house and contracts are exchanged but Doreen dies (intestate) before the sale is completed. In this case a member of the family might be able to take out a limited grant so the sale can be completed. In circumstances like these where it is important to get the grant quickly we need to deal with any application as soon as possible.

Example 3

Joseph is murdered by Allie who is the only executor that he appointed in his will. The court may decide that Allie cannot effectively administer Joseph’s estate (because she is in prison) and may grant letters of administration with Will annexed to someone more suitable. This grant may or may not be limited in time or subject matter, as the court sees fit. You should note that a murderer cannot inherit from their victim.

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Cessate grant

This is a grant for a limited time only. The grant terminates at the end of a specified time span and another Grant will be needed to continue the administration of the estate. If the property was within the operation of the previous grant the application is made on Form Cap A5C (IHTM05081). If the previous grant was not a full grant an account will be required (IHTM05023).


Donna dies having appointed Eric as her executor. Eric cannot be an executor until he reaches 18, but has not yet reached this age when Donna dies. So Eric’s parent or guardian can obtain a grant of administration with will annexed that is time limited until Eric reaches 18. When Eric reaches the age of 18 the limited grant will cease and he can then apply for a grant to continue the administration of Donna’s estate.

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Grant pendente lite

This is an interim grant when a Will or the right to administer an estate is being disputed in a probate action. It is effective for a limited time while the probate action is before the court. It is usually granted to someone unconnected with the dispute like an independent accountant or solicitor. This grant is limited and lasts for the duration of the claim. It will end when the action is settled. The administrator acts at the direction of the court and cannot distribute estate assets without the permission of the court. A full account will be required following a Grant Pendente Lite (IHTM05023)


Fred dies having made a Will giving his entire estate to Graham. Fred’s daughter Harriet believes the Will is forged and so enters a Caveat at the relevant probate registry. This stops the executors of Fred’s Will from acting until the court makes a decision about the validity of the Will. While the matter is being resolved the court can grant administration of Fred’s estate to someone of the court’s choice. It will be the duty of the court appointed administrator to collect and guard the assets of Fred’s estate - to make sure insurance is paid on his house, for example. Once the matter of the Will is resolved this grant will cease.

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Grant ad colligenda bona

This again is a grant for a limited purpose, intended to allow the administrator power to preserve the deceased’s estate until a general grant is made. Again as in the case of a Grant Pendente Lite the Administrator cannot distribute estate assets he or she can only preserve them. A full account will be required following a Grant of ad colligenda bona (IHTM05023)


Ianthe, a farmer, dies having appointed John as the sole executor of her estate. John is in South America and cannot return to the UK for several months. The court may grant a limited power to Kevin so that he can look after Ianthe’s farm animals before John’s return to the UK.

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Grant of double probate

Where an executor (IHTM05012) does not wish to prove, perhaps because of ill-health, and the other executors obtain probate by submitting a form IHT400, the right to join others later is reserved. When the non-proving executor wishes to take up office a grant of double probate is made. An application for this is made on Cap Form A5C.


Alice dies having appointed Brian and Chris as executors. Brian takes out a grant alone as Chris is seriously ill.

Later on, during the administration of the estate Chris recovers and takes out a grant of double probate, joining Brian as co-executor.

Grant caeterorum

This is a grant which follows an initial grant in respect of limited property to give the administrator power over the remaining assets. An application for this type of grant needs to be made by submitting a form IHT400 (IHTM05023). If the grant in respect of the remaining property is taken out before the limited grant then it is called a ‘save and except’ grant.

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Settled land grant

Where land continues to be settled land after the death of the life tenant a separate settled land grant is required

Procedures for dealing with unusual types of grant

If you receive any correspondence (including a form A5C) that relates to anything other than a full grant you should pass it to PCTS as quickly as possible. This is particularly important when the grant is needed urgently, for instance where a house is being sold or livestock need to be cared for.