Increasing numbers of people are missing out on inheritance tax relief as a result of executing wills without legal advice.
According to Wilsons Solicitors partner Alison Morris "the revenue won't say, 'Oh, you've forgotten the relief'".
"You have to apply for it. Many people think it is easy to get probate and they can do it themselves to save on legal costs. But if the benefactors find out that relief could have been claimed and wasn't, you as the executor are liable and you could be sued. I would say get an expert of some sort to check the figures, to get you off the hook. It won't cost much and you can take it out of the estate."
Inheritance tax levels collected by HMRC in 2016/17 was £4.8bn, up from £3.1bn in 2012/13. The amount claimed back in relief has fallen from 54% to 41% over that five-year period. The amount of inheritance tax collected hit a high of £5.3bn in the year to February 2018.
"Now that you can apply for probate online, more people are doing so without understanding the complex procedures. Recent changes to the transfer of the residence nil-rate band inheritance tax relief are quite complex and add to the confusion."
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