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HMRC internal manual

Inheritance Tax Manual

Foreign property: locality of assets (situs): unadministered estates

In general, a person who takes an absolute interest in the residue of an estate is entitled, not to the assets of the testator, but to a right of action, enforceable against the executors. This is the case under English law and many other legal systems.

This means the executors must administer the estate and transfer the clear residue, or a share of it to the beneficiary. The same rule applies in the case of intestacy.

This is a similar rule to the jus crediti (IHTM25091) to which a beneficiary is entitled in Scotland.

But, for Inheritance Tax, the deceased is treated as having a direct interest (in the whole or a share) in the net assets of the residuary estate (IHTM22031). 

For this reason you must consider the situs of each of the underlying assets separately.

For example, the excluded property provisions in IHTA84/S6 (2) may apply to qualifying securities included in an unadministered estate (IHTM04260) and as a result they may not be chargeable to Inheritance Tax.