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An IHT transferable nil rate band is applicable to deaths on or after 9 October 2007.

At a glance

Each individual subject to UK Inheritance Tax (IHT) has the benefit of a nil rate band which is currently £325,000.

When one spouse or civil partner dies before the other and part or all of their nil rate band (NRB) is not used, the unused NRB may be transferred to the surviving spouse to be added to their own NRB and used on their death. References to spouses here also include references to civil partners.

Non-domiciled individuals

The NRB is available to all individuals; if you are a non-domiciled individual and die in the UK with UK assets your spouse may be able to benefit from a transfer of your unused nil rate band.

Details to keep after the first death:

Where there is a transferable nil rate band available following the first death of a member of a couple, records should be kept to support the claim to transfer the unused NRB including but not limited to:

See IHT: transferable nil rate band for a full list of the documents which must be kept.

You should make sure you keep all of these following your spouse's death to assist your family and personal representatives in dealing with your own estate on death.

Will planning and the transferable NRB

It is advisable to review wills that include provisions which rely on the NRB.

See Main Residence Nil Rate Band for details of the transfer of the additional nil rate band relating to the family home.

Links to our useful guides:

IHT: transferable nil rate band
What is the transferable nil rate band? Who does it apply to? How do I claim it?

Main Residence Nil Rate Band
What is the Main Residence Nil Rate band? When was it introduced? How does it work? Who can claim it?

IHT: estate planning checklist
This basic checklist covers some of the essential planning points that taxpayers should know when planning for their estate and inheritance tax.

Deed of variation
What is a deed of variation? When can a deed of variation be used? What are the requirements for a valid deed of variation?