Appropriation and SDLT

I’m dealing with a probate case in which the deceased left a specific gift of his property to one beneficiary (who is also one of the executors). The property remains in the name of the deceased and is being sold by the exors.

As there looks to be a gain on the sale, we propose appropriating 50% of the property to the legatee. Am I correct that the appropriation doesn’t give rise to an SDLT charge?

Amy Paxton
JE Bennett Law

Assuming the estate residue is ascertained, and there is no danger of abatement, the property is held for the legatee and can only be sold at his direction. It will be a sale by him, not the executors, for CGT purposes.

Simon Northcott

If the estate is giving consideration to its position in the event of a sale, and if there are any matters pending within the estate (including the income tax return for the estate that declares the gain, and then paying it) there is bound to be at least one unascertained item, namely the solicitors’ costs, and so an appropriation of 50% is bound to be in order, resulting in a sale jointly by the beneficiary and the estate. But I believe there is no stamp duty if no money changes hands, as would be the case here.

Julian Cohen

Simons Rodkin