Marriage is not an IHT exemption

Marriage is not an IHT exemption

Save yourself some time, if you aren’t married or haven’t been married or don’t ever plan to marry you really don’t need to read this item, but if you have, are or do… well its one for you to take a look at.

Let me begin by correcting myself – marital assets are generally exempt from IHT (inheritance tax). However what is not exempt is the need to report these to HMRC upon the death of one or both of the parties. This is all part of the continuing series about IHT and how it inter-relates with your financial planning today – and how the information that is requested once you have died isn’t easy to trace and leaves your Executors – perhaps your nearest and dearest, with a headache.


This is a form that HMRC use for you to report jointly owned assets (click to see). Now please be careful, this needs some thought and you may have already made some changes to jointly owned assets – perhaps “giving” them to your spouse to help reduce your combined taxes, or perhaps you have been persuaded to adjust the ownership details of your home by a solicitor intending to help you to reduce inheritance tax.

I meet lots of different people as you may imagine and many couples take different views about money, in essence these boil down to – everything is private and separate or everything is jointly owned and some couples delegate financial management to just one of them, with the other playing a very minor role (which usually troubles both in the event that “something were to happen”).


So if you have been married or are married, please take a look at the HMRC form IHT404. Download it and then complete it fully, keep a copy, ensure your spouse has a copy and also send your financial planner a copy too.

This is a form for the Inland Revenue (HMRC) so its not to be trifled with, the dates of purchase, values and share of ownership are not “minor details” this is your account of what you have together. I’m not bothered about how old you are, unless you can tell me exactly when you will die, this is a form all married people need to get sorted out in advance and keep under review. So, if that’s you… its your task for today… another way to show your spouse that you care!

Dominic Thomas
Solomons IFA

You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on my blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to me about your personal wealth planning and how we can make you stay wealthier for longer then please get in touch by calling 08000 736 273 or email