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HMRC internal manual

Trusts, Settlements and Estates Manual

Deceased persons: documents

HMRC will not request  sight of a will or probate etc. unless

  • for deeds of variation executed before 1 August 2002, there are doubts about the time limits for elections made under Section142 IHTA1984, or Section62(7) TCGA1992 (CG31600 to CG31680)
  • for deeds of variation executed on or after 1 August 2002, there are doubts about the deed containing a statement of intent that it is to take effect for tax purposes. For further information about deeds of variation see TSEM1815.
  • it is  required  as part of a formal SA enquiry (see TSEM7280)
  • it is required for a submission under CG31420. This is when a deed of variation has been made that alters the terms of the will.

The enquiry powers will enable HMRC to obtain a copy of the will, probate or other similar document. If, exceptionally, you are unable to obtain the document, Inheritance Tax Nottingham may be able to help. They may be able to provide copies of documents for estates that exceed £325,000. If you need to contact them you must quote the full name of the deceased and the date of death and, if known, the inheritance tax reference.

Unrequested documents

If HMRC are sent a will, probate or other similar document that has not been requested, it will be returned to the sender.

If it is a probate, confirmation or letters of administration, HMRC can take a copy.

If it is a will, HMRC will not copy or read it. HMRC will tell the sender that we do not require to see the will and that it is being returned without copying or reading it.