IHTM11041 - General procedure for death transfers: initial steps
Details of spouse or civil partner exemption being deducted should be included in boxes 92 and 93 of the IHT400 and you will need to consider whether the exemption is properly due.
The first step is to check what the spouse or civil partner (IHTM11032) is entitled to.
You should always read the whole of the Will (IHTM12041), if there is one. An initial bequest to the spouse or civil partner, whether absolute or for life, may be cut down by a later provision in the will with the result that the spouse or civil partner exemption is not appropriate.
If the spouse or civil partner does not take absolutely, you should check that the spouse or civil partner has a qualifying interest in possession (IHTM16062) before allowing any exemption. For example, an initial gift of a life interest may be subject to provisions in the Will that give the trustees discretion to allocate income or the power to accumulate, so that the spouse or civil partner does not have an interest in possession at all.
If there is no Will because the transferor died intestate (IHTM12101) you will need to examine the intestacy rules (IHTM12101).