This part of GOV.UK is being rebuilt – find out what beta means

HMRC internal manual

Inheritance Tax Manual

Grants on credit: potential difficulties

If the Exchequer is at risk alternative proposals should be considered. For example, a non resident Personal Representative (PR) (IHTM38201) could appoint a professional UK resident attorney to make the application for probate on their behalf. We would not accept an undertaking (IHTM05130) from a non-resident PR because of the difficulty enforcing it.

As a last resort you can discuss with Litigation whether the Official Solicitor could be invited to obtain a grant for an estate that would not otherwise be administered (see IHTM09103).

A grant on credit may not be appropriate where the PRs want to make an urgent application without making full and proper enquiries into the estate, to the extent that they are likely to deliver an incorrect account (IHTM36101).

For example:

  • the executors may have a buyer for the deceased’s property and need a grant to complete the sale, or
  • the administrators have an urgent need to deal with the deceased’s portfolio of shares.

In these circumstances the PRs should consider a limited grant (IHTM05150). But if, for some reason, the PRs are unable to obtain a limited grant, a grant on credit can be considered. However, you should liaise with the penalty portfolio holder so that we can set out our expectations and requirements to make sure that the PRs are aware of what they must do to avoid a penalty and the potential consequences if they press ahead regardless. This is particularly important following the decision in James Keith Robertson v CIR SpC 309.

It is not possible to provide an exhaustive list of alternative solutions and you may need to think laterally. STS may be able to offer some advice in difficult cases.