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Though it’s not nice to think about, it’s important to know what will happen to your savings if you or someone you love passes.

Under previous guidelines, money saved into an ISA could lose its tax-free status upon the owner’s death. However, in April 2015, this was re-evaluated. 

Now, you can benefit from your partner’s savings thanks to the inheritance ISA allowance.

Planning your financial future can be complicated. So, Newcastle Financial Adviser Tom Parkin answers customers' questions about inheritance ISA allowance below.

What is an inheritance ISA allowance?

If your spouse or civil partner passes away, you will be eligible to receive an inheritance ISA allowance. Otherwise known as an Additional Permitted Subscription (APS), your inheritance ISA allowance is in addition to the annual ISA allowance you already receive, and means you could benefit from paying less tax on your savings.

However, this doesn’t mean you will directly inherit the money in your partner’s ISA(s). Instead, you will inherit the additional one off extra ISA allowance which will be equal to the value of the ISAs they held.

For example, if your partner has £10,000 saved into an ISA and they pass away, you will be entitled to save an extra £10,000 tax-free on top of your existing £20,000 ISA allowance 2024/2025.

Does the inheritance ISA allowance affect your ISA allowance?

No, your inheritance ISA allowance does not affect your ISA allowance. Instead, it is an extension of your existing allowance.

How is the inheritance ISA worked out?

Any ISAs your partner held, whether they were cash ISAs or stocks and shares ISAs, will count towards your inherited ISA allowance. The only exception is the junior ISA, wherein there is no inheritance ISA allowance and any money in the junior ISA will be paid to whoever inherits their estate.

When it comes to how much ISA inheritance you’re entitled to, this amount will depend on when the death occurred.

If you lost your partner on or before 5th April 2018, your inheritance ISA allowance will be the value of your partner’s ISA(s) on the date they passed away.

If your partner died on or after 6th April 2018, you can inherit an ISA allowance that is the value of your partner’s ISA at the date of death. However, you also have the option of letting your partner’s ISA(s) remain open and earning interest (a "continuing ISA"), and you can then inherit an ISA allowance that is the value of your partner’s ISA(s) at account closure.

What is a continuing ISA?

When an investor passes away, an ISA is reclassified as a ‘continuing ISA.’ Though no money can be paid into it at this point, it will continue to benefit from the tax advantages of an ISA. This means any interest earned will remain tax-free.

A continuing ISA remains until either:

  • The administration of the estate is complete
  • The ISA is closed
  • It’s been three years since death

The account can remain an ISA until a maximum of three years since the death of the investor.

Lady looking at someone smiling
How long is an inherited ISA allowance available?

Your inheritance ISA allowance will be available for three years after your partner has passed away, or 180 days after the administration of the estate has been completed; whichever one is the later date.

What information will I need to get my inheritance ISA allowance?

To receive the allowance, you will need to provide the following to your bank, building society or ISA provider:

  • The date of your marriage or civil partnership (evidence of the marriage or civil partnership may be sought)
  • Your partner’s date of birth and the date they passed away
  • Your partner’s address at the time they passed away
  • Yours and your partner’s National Insurance numbers
Can my children inherit my ISA?

No, your children can not inherit your ISA currently. Neither can unmarried partners and other family members.

To receive the inheritance ISA allowance, you will need to be married to or in a civil partnership with the deceased. 

You will also need to be living together and not legally separated or in the process of becoming legally separated.

What happens to the ISA when someone dies?

ISA rules on death of holder dictate that the ISA will end when:

  • The executor closes it
  • Or the administration of the estate is completed

Otherwise, your ISA provider will close your ISA three years and one day after you have passed away.

Up to this date, there will be no Income Tax or Capital Gains Tax to pay, but ISA investments will form part of your estate for Inheritance Tax purposes.

Your ISA provider can be instructed to either:

  • Sell the investment and pay the proceeds to the administrator or beneficiary of your estate
  • Transfer the investments to your surviving spouse or civil partner. This is only possible if they have the same ISA provider as you.

If you have more questions about inheritance ISA allowances and a chat would put your mind at rest, why not pop into your local branch to discuss options? 

We’d love to see you and we’re always here to help you make the right decisions and connect you to a better financial future.

HM Revenue and Customs practice and the law relating to taxation are complex and subject to individual circumstances and changes which cannot be foreseen.

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Need some help?

Pop in to your local branch or give us a call, we're always happy to chat.

0345 734 4345

Our lines are open Monday to Friday from 8am - 6pm. We're closed on Saturdays, Sundays and bank holidays.

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HM Revenue and Customs practice and the law relating to taxation are complex and subject to individual circumstances and changes which cannot be foreseen.


Newcastle Building Society introduces to Newcastle Financial Advisers Limited for advice on investments, pensions, life and protection insurance, and inheritance tax planning. Aspects of inheritance tax planning are not regulated by the Prudential Regulation Authority nor the Financial Conduct Authority. Newcastle Financial Advisers is a trade name of Newcastle Financial Advisers Limited which is an appointed representative of The Openwork Partnership a trading style of Openwork Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.