Joint tennants

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Hi, my husband passed away last month and I’m am trying to get myself together to deal with his estate, he had a property and bank accounts not in my name. Our house was owned as joint tennants, will the value of this be included for inheritance tax purposes? 

thanks 

  • Hi  

     

    Thanks for getting in touch.

     

    I’m so sorry for your loss, it must be a very difficult time for you.

    Firstly, just to say that anything left between husband and wife is exempt from inheritance tax in most cases and so isn’t counted towards the value of the estate. Valuing and sorting out an estate can be complicated so sometimes people might seek legal advice or speak to the probate and Inheritance tax helpline. I’ve included signposts for both options below.

     

    • Probate and Inheritance Tax Helpline:0300 123 1072 which is open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.

     

    • If there is a need to find a solicitor, you could talk to family and friends for a personal recommendation. If this is unsuccessful, a local firm can be found by looking on the Law Society website:

    www.lawsociety.org.uk/find-a-solicitor/  (England & Wales)

     

    https://www.lawsoc-ni.org/solicitors-directory/  (Northern Ireland)

     

    https://www.lawscot.org.uk/  (Scotland)

     

    Please also find a link here to the government Online Inheritance Tax checker. This might help you to understand what will be included for IHT purposes when valuing your husband’s estate. It includes information on how to value jointly owned assets.

    We often find it’s best to give guidance in this area over the phone as we can ask more questions and tailor the guidance for you. You can contact us on 0808 808 0000 and select option 1 then 2 and the 1 again to get through to one of the Financial Guides on the line. We are here from 8am until 6pm from Monday until Friday. In the meantime, I’ve detailed some information on IHT and sorting out an estate which you might find helpful:

    Everyone has a tax-free allowance in relation to inheritance tax called the Nil Rate Band (NRB). At the moment this is £325,000.

    An extra tax-free allowance might be available if you leave a residential property, which has been your home at some point, to a direct descendant on death – this includes leaving the property to your children (including stepchildren, adopted children or foster children) or grandchildren. This additional nil rate band is added to the initial £325,000 allowance. For 2023/2024, the additional amount is £175,000 (effectively increasing your NRB to £500,000).

    If it’s a large estate (worth more than £2,000,000), the additional nil rate band will be tapered at a reduction of £1 for every £2 over the threshold. This means that some very large estates won’t be eligible for the additional NRB.

    If an estate (including any taxable gifts made in the last seven years) is worth less than £325,000, there will be no inheritance tax to pay.

    Transferring of Nil Rate Bands

    It’s useful to know that new rules were introduced in October 2007 which allows the transfer of any unused NRB to the surviving spouse (upon the surviving spouses death), effectively meaning that the tax-free threshold for an estate when the second spouse dies is currently £650,000.

    This is done by the executors of the estate upon death of the second spouse.

    It’s also possible to transfer the additional nil rate band (for those with a residential property) which could potentially increase the joint allowance to £1,000,000 (2023/2024 tax year).

    The amount of NRB which can be transferred to the surviving spouse depends on the percentage of the NRB the deceased individual used and the level of the NRB threshold when they died.

    To use this benefit, the executors of the estate must transfer the first deceased spouse’s unused inheritance tax threshold to the surviving spouse upon their death. This must be done no later than 24 months after the end of the month in which the surviving spouse died.

    For more detailed information, visit http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/inheritancetax/intro/basics.htm  

     

    Secondly, you’ve mention that your late husband owned a property and bank accounts in his sole name. You will most likely need to do either Probate (if your husband left a will) or Letters of Administration (if he didn’t leave a will).  It’s known as Confirmation in Scotland.

    Financial organisations set their own limit under which they ask for probate.  However, as there is a property (held in his sole name) this will mean it is mostly likely that Probate is going to be required.

    If you need further assistance with this, you can always call us and we can talk you through this process.

    I hope this helps, if you would like any more support from us, please feel free to call us on 0808 808 0000.

     

    Best wishes,

    Will

    Financial Guide