Inheritance Tax is too complicated. It needs to be simplified

Inheritance Tax (IHT) has been described as ‘fiendishly complex’. A new report by the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) offers 11 recommendations for simplifying it. When even the chancellor describes a tax as “particularly complex”, it’s a sure sign it … Find out more »


Step-sisters’ inheritance hangs on whose parent died first

Which of two step-sisters receives a £300,000 inheritance rests on a judge’s opinion of whose parent died first, in a cautionary tale for parents yet to draft a Will. In October 2016, John Scarle, 79, and Ann Scarle, 69, both … Find out more »

Information required for Estate Administration

Below is a checklist of all documents and details that will be required when dealing with your probate matters.

Details of deceased

  • Country of domicile
  • Date and place of birth and death
  • Last permanent address
  • Death Certificate
  • Tax reference (if known)
  • National Insurance number (if known)


  • Contact details of the undertaker
  • Particulars of any funeral arrangements or obituary notices required if not already arranged


  • Details of last will (if any) and any codicils
  • Full names, contact details and occupations of Executors or Administrators

Surviving Relatives

Names of Spouse or civil partner, children, grandchildren, parents, grandparents and siblings.


  • Contact details of beneficiaries, if different from the will
  • Name and date of death of beneficiaries who have died
  • Name and date of birth of any children or other next-of-kin or beneficiaries under 18


Tax Matters

  • National insurance number and income tax reference
  • Name and address of the tax district to which the deceased submitted Tax Returns


Securities (shares etc), bank accounts, etc

  • Details of what securities of shares and where held
  • Contact details of stockbrokers
  • Details of any national savings bank accounts, building society accounts, National Savings certificates, Premium Bonds and where the passbooks and certificates are kept
  • Name and address of bankers
  • Life insurance policies
  • Amount of cash and uncashed cheques in the deceased’s house
  • Bank statements and cheque books
  • Pension order book

Estimated value and details of significant furniture, jewellery, car and personal effects

  • Details of any inventories, valuations, insurance policies

House, property or land

  • Details relating to freehold or leasehold property, location of Title documents, approximate value, insurance documents and location of insurance documents
  • If the property is not to be sold, details of any valuers to be instructed
  • Any rents received, if applicable
  • Any other properties or foreign properties and details of lawyers abroad if a will was made in respect of such property

Business or Partnership interests

Copies of the last two sets of accounts and details of business/partnership interests

Employees names and particulars of wages and dates to be paid

Income due to date of death

Any pensions, salary or incomes from any settlement, will or other trust


Debts, mortgages, rents due, funeral expenses

Please provide details on the above plus any further accounts ie council tax, water, gas, electricity, telephone, credit cards, store cards etc (these do not need to be paid yet)

Further details required:

Details of any life assurance policies held

Any outstanding guarantees given by the deceased, for example to a bank

Particulars of any gifts made within seven years with names and addresses of donees and date of gift

Particulars of any trusts, settlements or assets transferred to an existing trust or settlement by the deceased in the seven years preceding the earliest date of the gift shown above

Particulars of any other settlement, will or trust of which the deceased was a trustee or beneficiary and any trusts made by the deceased not already referred to

If the deceased gave away any assets which they continued to enjoy or made a financial contribution to the purchase of a property in the name by someone else, but which they used then details will be required

Details of any legacies received in the last five years

Assets held in joint names

Please visit our glossary of probate terms by clicking here