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What is Return of Estate?

“Return of estate” is information about the deceased’s property, possessions and financial affairs that you need to report to HMRC as part of applying for probate. 

This will establish if inheritance tax is due. 

What is form IHT205?


Inheritance tax form IHT205 is the form for “Return of estate information”. 

As executor of an estate, you are required to value the deceased’s assets – their money, property and possessions – and list them on the form, answering questions about their finances.

There’s advice about what to do as an executor and the types of organisations you will need to contact in our article about probate letters

Of the 275,000 probate applications completed each year only 25,000 qualify for inheritance tax. Which means 250,000 don’t, but the form still needs to be filled in and submitted. 

IHT205 looks complicated, can I do it myself?


Yes you can. 

You will need to be very organised and thorough in ascertaining the deceased’s assets, writing to banks, utilities etc to work out their assets and liabilities but you don’t need a solicitor to do return of estate. Only the most complex situations need to involve professionals. 

YouCanDoProbate can help you do it yourself by walking you through the process in a structured and logical way, auto-generating those letters of notification for all the suppliers and providers and storing the information in a secure way online. 

This means you can log back into your account at any time to add new information and there’ll be a permanent record of all your workings online. 

Our online system does the calculations for you, valuing the estate as you add the information about assets and liabilities and best of all, the system auto-populates the return of estate information on form IHT205 for you, minimising the risk of errors. 

For more advice read our article on how to do probate yourself.