You must keep certain records after you value an estate.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) can ask to see your records up to 20 years after Inheritance Tax is paid.

You must keep copies of any:

  • will
  • copies of signed Inheritance Tax forms and supporting documents
  • records showing how you worked out the value of assets in the estate, for example an estate agent’s valuation
  • documents showing any unused Inheritance Tax threshold that can be transferred to a surviving spouse or civil partner
  • final accounts

Final accounts

Include any documents showing how you distributed money, property or personal belongings from the estate, for example:

  • letters from HMRC confirming that you paid Inheritance Tax
  • receipts showing debts paid, for example utilities bills
  • receipts for your expenses from dealing with the estate
  • written confirmation that ‘beneficiaries’ (anyone who inherited) received their share of the estate

Send copies of the final accounts to all beneficiaries.

  1. Step 1 Register the death

    1. Register the death within 5 days

    Check what to do if:

    To stop or change benefits payments you can tell the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) about the death straight away.

  2. Step 2 Arrange the funeral

  3. Step 3 Tell government about the death

    The Tell Us Once service allows you to inform all the relevant government departments when someone dies.

    1. Use the Tell Us Once service to tell government
    2. If you cannot use Tell Us Once, tell government yourself

    You'll also need to tell banks, utility companies, and landlords or housing associations yourself.

  4. Step 4 Check if you can get bereavement benefits

  5. and Deal with your own benefits, pension and taxes

    Your tax, benefit claims and pension might change depending on your relationship with the person who died.

    1. Manage your tax, pensions and benefits if your spouse has died
    2. Check how benefits are affected if a child dies
  6. and Check if you need to apply to stay in the UK

    If your right to live in the UK depends on your relationship with someone who died you might need to apply for a new visa.

    Check the rules if:

    1. Contact UKVI to check the rules for other visas
  7. Step 5 Apply for probate and check if you need to pay Inheritance Tax

    You might need to apply for probate and pay Inheritance Tax before you can deal with the property, money and possessions (the ‘estate’) of the person who died.

    1. Check if you need to apply for probate
    1. Estimate the value of the estate to find out if you need to pay Inheritance Tax
    1. Find out how to report the value of the estate
    1. Pay Inheritance Tax if it’s due
    1. Apply for probate
  8. Step 6 Deal with the estate

    Pay any debts or taxes owed by the person who's died. You can then distribute the estate as set out in the will or the law.

    1. Deal with the estate
    1. Update property records