Being an executor is an onerous task that requires a great deal of discernment, patience, diplomacy and responsibility.

Undertaking this task alone is not for the faint-hearted. If you would like advice regarding probate estate administration and inheritance tax issues on death, Oratto can help you establish clarity and certainty at this most difficult of times.

By choosing an Oratto probate lawyer, all of whom are signatory to the Oratto Member Lawyer Code, you are assured of the following:

  • Efficiency
  • Integrity
  • Objectivity
  • Accountability
  • Openness and transparency
  • Honesty
  • Leadership

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Inheritance tax rules

In England and Wales inheritance tax (IHT) is paid only when the deceased's estate is considered to be worth more than £325,000 (July 2016). However, this figure regularly changes and may depend on the annual budget delivered by the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

The current IHT on death is 40% on all assets above the £325,000 threshold. There is, however, some slight mitigation of this rate when 10% or more of the estate's value is gifted to charity.

There are strict rules about when and how IHT must be paid and interest penalties can be levied if the payments are not made on time.

Transferable nil rate band

All UK residents are exempt from Inheritance Tax below the £325,000 threshold (the “nil rate band”). All assets exceeding the value of the nil rate band (NRB) are subject to Inheritance Tax at 40%.

However, under the rules of exemption, married couples and civil partners may gift assets to each other during their lifetime or upon death.

This means that they can effectively transfer the nil rate band, raising the Inheritance Tax threshold of the second spouse to £650,000.

To do this, the executors or administrators representing the estate of the second spouse or civil partner to die must complete certain processes that formally transfer the nil rate band.

However, determining liability and the best IHT minimisation strategy can be complex, so it is a good idea to instruct specialist probate lawyers to help negotiate the process.

The transferable nil rate band is available only if the second spouse or civil partner died after 31st October 2007.

Additionally, as of 6 April 2017 an additional Inheritance Tax relief will be available in the form of the residence nil rate band (RNRB), provided that certain conditions are met. 

Probate lawyers for executors

Whether you wish to continue acting as an executor but with the assistance and support of experience lawyers, or whether you wish to make a declaration of renunciation so that you can pass on the responsibility, Oratto's specialist probate lawyers can help you achieve your objectives in the most efficient and stress-free way possible.

Our member probate lawyers provide solid and reliable support and assistance at this most difficult of times.

Call us today, have an online chat or fill in an Oratto Match form so that we can call you back at a time to suit you.