What if I am a beneficiary?

Updated on 5 April 2020


You are a beneficiary if you are either named in a will as someone who will receive assets or cash from the deceased’s estate; or someone who is entitled to receive assets from the estate of a person who has died intestate. In Scotland you may be someone who is entitled to claim prior or legal rights.

If you are a beneficiary and the executor or personal representative pays out some income to you during the time they are administering the deceased’s estate, you will need to report the income to HMRC in the tax year in which you receive it. You can do this by including the income and any tax deducted on a Self Assessment tax return if you have to complete one or by making a repayment claim. More information about how to do this is contained on the form R185 that you should be given by the executor or administrator of the estate.

As a beneficiary, you do not usually have to pay any taxes when you finally inherit an asset at the time you inherit it. But you may have to pay income tax if that asset goes on to produce income for you and/or capital gains tax if you sell, give away or exchange an asset you inherited and it has increased in value since the date of death.

If the asset you inherited increases in value between the date of the deceased's death and the date you dispose of it, the increase is a 'capital gain'.

You can find more information on tax on property you inherit on GOV.UK.

On our dedicated page, you can find more information on inheritance on the death of a spouse or civil partner.

There is a brief guide on altering inheritances on GOV.UK.