Form of advice from country of domicile to accompany the IHT Account

I am dealing with an estate where the deceased died domiciled in Qatar where Sharia law applies.

The deceased had an English Will leaving everything to the widow but that is overridden in relation to the moveable assets by the succession certificate from the country of domicile. The succession certificate leaves the estate to the children as well as the widow, giving rise to an IHT liability.

The adult children named in the succession certificate are entering into a deed of variation to pass their shares of the English moveable assets to the widow so that is straightforward.

There is, however, a child under 18 and the Qatari lawyer is providing a letter to say that, under Qatari law, the minor child is not entitled to any of the English assets.

Q21 in the IHT401 says “Explain how the estate is to be distributed and how you have established this. If you have had professional advice from someone in the deceased’s country of domicile, attach a copy of this”. So, the plan is to attach the succession certificate, letter and a copy of the deed of variation.

My questions are: Has anyone ever submitted an IHT400 in this way with a letter of advice from a lawyer in the country of domicile which is to be relied on, rather than simply relying on the provisions in a court-issued document from the country of domicile? Do HMRC ever challenge the advice being given? Should it perhaps be in a form other than a letter? It seems to me that HMRC would have to take their own Qatari advice in order to challenge the advice in a letter but the client wants me to find out how HMRC react to such a letter so any comments or experiences that can be shared will be very welcome.

Many thanks

Sally Harlow
Boodle Hatfield