HMRC internal manual

Inheritance Tax Manual

Interest in unadministered estates: summary

An unadministered estate is one where the administration of that estate has not been completed. This means that not all of the assets in the estate have been transferred, or appropriated (IHTM22022), to the beneficiaries under the person’s will or intestacy.


  • Adrian dies in 2010.
  • Adrian leaves part of his estate to Bob absolutely.
  • Bob dies before Adrian’s estate has been fully administered or any money has been paid to him.
  • Bob has an interest in Adrian’s unadministered estate and this interest is normally shown on schedule IHT415 (IHTM10035) of the IHT400 (IHTM10021).
  • Bob had the legal right to demand that Adrian’s legal personal representatives (IHTM05012) administer the estate and pay him any money or assets to which he was entitled.

The relevant part of the IHTA84 is S91.

The effect of IHTA84/S91 is that for IHT purposes the beneficiary’s interest whether limited or absolute is treated as a direct interest (and not merely a right) in the assets constituting the unadministered estate.