Bereavement and tax

Updated on 30 December 2020

This looks at tax-related duties you may have to perform as an executor or personal representative, as well as the various tax and benefits consequences that can arise on death. This includes the knock-on effects of the death on you or other dependents. 

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Unfortunately, neither death nor taxes can be avoided forever. If you are lucky, your tax affairs will often fall into a regular and understandable pattern for long periods throughout your life. But then a life event happens which throws your tax world into confusion or means you have to make decisions, often without adequate information. 

Death is one of those life events – it not only has to be dealt with in tax terms for the person who has died, but the effects of that death can significantly change the lives of others. 

What information and help can I find in this section? 

We provide information to assist you if you find that you have to act as an executor or personal representative. We also aim to help you understand the tax position for someone who has died and their survivors. 

In particular: 

You may also want to read our short Tax at Bereavement factsheet.

For information on the scope of our guidance, please see About us.

Tax guides

Taxes on death: overview

Bereavement: further information
What taxes need to be dealt with when someone dies?

What happens to pension policies and life assurance policies the deceased held at death?

How does the personal representative deal with the income tax and capital gains tax affairs of the deceased?

What about income I received from the estate of a deceased person?

How does the personal representative deal with income and capital gains arising after the deceased’s death?

What reliefs and exemptions are there from inheritance tax?

Death of a spouse or civil partner

What is the effect of death on state benefits and credits?

What happens to property owned jointly by the deceased and someone else?

Getting help with bereavement and inheritance tax

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