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HMRC internal manual

Trusts, Settlements and Estates Manual

Legal background to trusts and estates: executors and the tax office

Upon the death of a person the personal representatives become the legal owners of the deceased’s estate. If he leaves a valid will they will be named as executors and will be authorised to act by a grant of probate (in Scotland, confirmation).

Normally you should not request sight of the will and probate (confirmation). But, you may need these if

  • there are doubts about the time limits for an instrument of variation and/or an election or statement of intent under Section 142 IHTA 1984 or TCGA92/S62(7)
  • it is required as part of a formal SA enquiry
  • a submission is needed in relation to a deed of variation/family arrangement executed (TSEM1815).

More detailed advice is at TSEM7220.

When the executors wind up the estate, they pay out the assets. The tax office may ask who received them.