HMRC warns of potential probate delays caused by IHT400

Inheritance Tax

HMRC warns of potential probate delays caused by IHT400
HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is advising executors and administrators not to submit their grant of probate or administration too early, as it could cause delays due to an issue matching up IHT400 and IHT421 forms.

Inheritance Tax IHT400

When should you apply for a grant of representation?
HMRC is advising executors of wills not to apply too early for a grant of representation, as it could cause delays on their probate applications.

HMRC is currently meeting its targets of:

processing form IHT400s within 15 working days of receipt
issuing the form IHT421 within 15 working days of receiving the form IHT400 or payment of the tax due on delivery of the account, whichever is later,


HMRC says that executors need to allow time for HMRC to process the IHT400 before applying for a grant of probate. Doing this means that your IHT421 will be with HM Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) and can be matched to your probate application shortly after you apply.

HMRC are recommending that executors allow 20 working days from the date they sent their IHT400 before applying for a grant.

If executors apply for a grant too early HMCTS will not be able to match the application with the IHT421 and this will lead to delays in getting the grant.

Find out more about how to pay inheritance tax.

What is a deceased estates notice?
As an executor, you are responsible for dealing with any claims against the estate. After you receive a grant of probate, the law recommends you place a deceased estates notice in The Gazette and a local newspaper to find creditors who are owed money by the estate

A deceased estates notice is an advertisement placed in The Gazette which contains the details of a deceased person and the executor/administrator, so that anyone or any organisation owed money by the deceased person’s estate can come forward.

Placing a deceased estates notice demonstrates that enough effort has been made to find creditors before distributing an estate to its beneficiaries (the people who will inherit the estate). This protects the executor from being personally responsible for money owed to any unidentified creditors.

If you don’t place a notice and a creditor comes forward after the estate has been distributed, then you may have to pay the creditor yourself.

How do you place a deceased estate’s notice?
Before you begin: make sure you have at least one of the following:
grant of probate
letter of administration
death certificate
Decide which services you want: as well as placing a deceased estate’s notice, you can also use The Gazette to place an advertisement in a newspaper that is local to the deceased. There is also a forwarding service for deceased estates, which replaces your address with The Gazette’s postal box, so all correspondence can be sent on to you while your address stays private. If you do not use the forwarding service, your address will be recorded in the public domain permanently. View The Gazette’s price list.
Once you’re ready to place a notice: register or sign in, and then go to ‘Place a notice’ from the ‘My Gazette’ dropdown.


Complete the form: select which Gazette edition, then ‘Personal Legal’ and ‘Deceased Estates’, and fill out the remaining fields, including uploading the required documentation.
Submit: submit your notice and check out.


Once the deceased estates’ notice has been placed, creditors have 2 months and 1 day to make a claim against the estate.

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