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Legal News | 9.02.23

Why did the personal representative look through the old bank statements?

Why did the personal representative look through the old bank statements?

Sorry, that’s not a funny joke and there is no punchline.

When someone dies, it is the responsibility of their personal representatives to ascertain details of the deceased’s finances. The personal representatives should conduct a detailed review of the deceased’s affairs to obtain this information.

When looking at the deceased’s finances, the personal representatives also need to establish whether the deceased made any gifts and or loans during their lifetime.

Outstanding loans made by the deceased are an asset of their estate and must be declared as such to HMRC.

If a person made lifetime gifts (usually within 7 years of death) these gifts may have an impact for inheritance tax and need to be declared in the HMRC Inheritance Tax account. It is therefore important for personal representatives to have a full overview of the deceased’s financial affairs, and this may well include a review of bank statements covering the years before death.

Personal representatives should also make reasonable enquires of relevant family members and friends of the deceased, and should keep records to evidence what they have done.

Personal representatives have a duty to file an accurate return to HMRC, and have a liability to pay any inheritance tax due referable to an estate. If the recipient of any gift does not give full disclosure they may be personally liable not only for any inheritance tax due in relation to their gift, but also penalties if they have not been forthcoming with information.

If you have any queries regarding the duties of a personal representative, or an estate administration, please contact Wansbroughs’ Private Client team on wealth@wansbroughs.com


Posted By Our Wills, Tax, Trusts & Probate Team