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HMRC internal manual

Inheritance Tax Manual

Has an election been made?: form of an election

No particular form was provided for an IHTA84/S142 (2) election It could be made in any form indicating an intention that IHTA84/S142 (1) should apply to the instrument.  In particular, a declaration to that effect incorporated in the variation itself was quite acceptable.  The published guidelines at IHTM35021 say that the notice should ideally refer to the appropriate statutory provisions.

However it was also sufficient if, in appropriate words, there was an agreement - an election - that clearly stated that, for IHT purposes, the person(s) making the instrument wished the variation to apply as if it had been made by the deceased.  If there is any doubt that the election was not made specifically for IHT purposes refer to Technical.

Occasionally the election (included in the recitals to the deed and believed to have been abstracted from a book of legal precedents) took a form that could be regarded as no more than a statement of intention to elect.  Taken in conjunction with the covering letter, however, this may have amounted to an election.  You should refer any such case, with a brief statement of the facts, to Technical if a claim is made that such a statement of intention amounted to an election.