Case Study

Successful inheritance of aged Trust with no penalties

JS worked with a client to help with them an aged Trust with no penalties.

JS has worked on an interesting and challenging estate where the client’s grandfather had passed away in the late 1990s. 

The deceased was one of the ultimate beneficiaries of a life interest trust; created by the death of his uncle more than 40 years previously and by default his grandchildren inherited the trust assets in 2009 when the life tenant passed away.  The trust held cash, investment properties, and land together with a number of leasehold properties, and this was being administered by a firm of solicitors.

The client’s problem

For various reasons out of our client’s control, probate had not been obtained on the estate until early 2021. The client approached JS at this point as it had become clear that none of the income or gains had been declared to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) from 2009 onwards. The estate needed to be administered and the monies being held by the solicitors needed to be released to them.  They were extremely concerned that the failure to report the income may lead to substantial penalties being levied by HMRC and felt overwhelmed at the thought of attempting to undertake the work themselves.

How we helped

JS initially provided guidance to our clients on how the process of submitting the information to HMRC worked and reassured them that we would negotiate with HMRC to show lenience in terms of any penalties given their circumstances.

Following our engagement, we started the process of gathering all the information we required for the 12-year period which took a considerable amount of time due to the time that had elapsed.  We presented the client with tax calculations and Tax Returns (for the later years) and after some discussion submitted these to HMRC, together with payment of the tax and interest with no penalties being charged to the client which was a great result.

We then addressed the estate accounts and provided the client with a detailed analysis of the movement of the funds over the 12-year period so they could better understand the income and outgoings, together with analysing the monies being held for them.  At this point, we identified some discrepancies for the client to discuss with the solicitors, which the client was extremely grateful for.  We also presented the client with options of when and how to draw the income from the estate to minimise the potential tax impact on the beneficiaries and arranged this on their behalf.


It was clear from the start of the engagement that we put the client at ease and took away the stress of what they felt was an impossible task. We achieved the best possible results and enabled them to release their inheritance from the solicitors after such a long period. JS has built up a long-standing relationship with other members of the family for many years and when the issue arose, we were recommended as the first port of call to assist our client with this work.

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