Estate planning in UK

Updated: Jul 10, 2018

A simple guide to estate planning for UK citizens.

Estate planning in UK

For the UK resident, there is good news that the estates distribution in the UK is very simple compare to other world countries like Canada or USA. There are few basic steps to follow...

  1. When someone is died, Obtain medical certificate from hospital and register the death in 5 days and complete the funeral. 

  2. Report death through "Tell Us Once" service which will inform most of the government UK organizations. 

  3. Obtain Original copy of Will or Codicil for the deceased person.

  4. Obtain debt, Gifts gave away and assets information.

  5. Add up assets and take away any debts.

  6. If the total is less than the threshold amount ( approximately £325,000) then no inheritance tax to pay and if the total is more than the threshold amount then prepare for paying the inheritance taxes on the eligible amount.

  7. If the deceased person is assessed to pay the inheritance tax then he or she has one year to fill the Inheritance tax form. Executor or representative of Will needs to fill out Short form if no inheritance tax to pay and Long form if inheritance tax to pay based on the assess

  8. Apply for grant of representation with following documentations.

  9. Death certificate.

  10. Original Will or Codicil

  11. Completed a probate application form.

  12. Completed an Inheritance tax form.

  13. Eligible application fee.

  14. Send your application for processing.

  15. Swear an oath as per information provided by Probate office.

  16. If there is no probate issue then expect to receive grant in 10 business days otherwise, probate office will inform on not issuing or delaying of grant.

There are many ways, UK government offers taxpayers saves their inheritance taxes.

No inheritance tax in UK below threshold value: Below the threshold value ( approximately £325,000), There is no inheritance tax for the money leaving to Spouse, given to charity or community amateur club. So Spouse can potentially have limits double the amount (i.e. 2x £325,000 threshold). After threshold amount, the inheritance tax will be charged at reduced rate approximately 36%.

Giving away gift to spouse in a lifetime: You can give up to £325,000 approximately within 7 years with no tax

Business relief for inheritance tax: You can get business relief of either 50% or 100% on some of the estates business assets which can be passed on, while owner is still alive or through a Will after death.


  1. Guide "Valuing the estate of someone who is died" on under Death and Bereavement.

  2. Guide "Inheritance tax" on under Death and Bereavement.

Due to the dynamic nature of tax laws, refer to UK tax office website for more accurate information. The information provided here is compliant to the UK Tax office copyright terms and conditions. For more information, CLICK HERE

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