Prior Gifts – Gathering information
19 January 2023
In my last blog we looked at the importance of gathering information for prior gifts. Very often clients have been given gifts of property or other gifts but have little information about this. How does one go about gathering this information when clients cannot provide it?
With respect to historic gifts of property, one can take a variety of steps.
Option 1. See if you or a solicitor colleague has retained the file related to the prior gift of property and ascertain whether or not valuation information is on the file.
Option 2. Take up the instrument from the Land Registry pertaining to the prior gift (if available) and this may have some available information.
Option 3. Request a valuer to conduct a historical valuation.
Oftentimes a solicitor may be reluctant with pursuing option 3, viewing a historical valuation from a valuer at best a rough estimate of a historical value and open to Revenue challenge. However, it is more than this. Valuers have historical files available to them. More seasoned practitioners will have first-hand knowledge of past values. They have available, their tables of historical values which they can draw on. In the absence of any information, a careful and well-thought-out historical valuation will be the best option in collating prior gift information. If after careful investigation a client relies on a historical valuation one would question the ability of the Revenue to challenge same. What better information is available to Revenue? It may be the case that Revenue may have access to some prior files submitted, but historical information of any particular vintage may not be accessible.
Inland Revenue Affidavit
In other cases, it may be more cut and dry. In particular where the prior gift was an inheritance. In the case of inheritances, it is possible to obtain copies of prior CA24/Inland Revenue Affidavits. So if the prior gift consisted of an inheritance then that information such be taken from the historical CA24/Inland Revenue affidavit. I was recently involved in a case where a deceased was the beneficiary of prior gifts from three siblings and I was in a position to obtain the historical Inland Revenue affidavit within 2 weeks of request in each case. The fees are €25. There are two forms and we have found our local office will accept either interchangeably. Both forms are included here. In this case, the deceased was the joint holder of property with her six siblings. I was able to collate prior gift/inheritance information on the death of siblings prior to my client from the historical CA24s.
It is important to face up to prior gifts as soon as possible in each case. The more time spent trying to avoid the inevitable the more time lost in any case. Get the prior gift information onto one’s file as soon as possible and move on with other aspects of administration.
Here are the forms to use when ordering an Inland Revenue Affidavit from the probate office or your local office
Hope this helps and remember if you have any probate, inheritance tax, capacity or will drafting queries, please do not hesitate to contact me through the website.