Probate Tax

Relief for spouses


The Civil Partnership legislation came into effect in 2011 and therefore civil partners are not affected by Probate Tax.

Relief for a surviving spouse

The tax on property passing absolutely to a spouse is abated to nil. Where the spouse receives a limited (life) interest in property, the tax borne by the property is postponed until the death of the surviving spouse. Provided the postponed tax is paid within 9 months of the date of death, interest will not be charged.

Relief where spouses die within a short time of each other

This relief exempts property from a second charge to Probate Tax where the following conditions are met:

  • the property is liable to tax on the death of one spouse
  • and
  • within five years the property again becomes liable to tax on the death of the surviving spouse, and the surviving spouse leaves a dependent child.

Where the surviving spouse dies within one year, the dependent child requirement does not apply.

Next: Property not liable to Probate Tax