Inherited ISA allowance explained
If your partner had a Nationwide cash ISA, you may be able to apply for an extra ISA allowance with us. Here's how to set up and manage an inherited ISA allowance.
What's on this page
What is an inherited ISA allowance?
Each year the government sets a limit on how much you can save in your ISA, tax-free. This is called an allowance, which for the 2023/24 tax year is £20,000.
If your husband, wife or civil partner has passed away and they had an ISA, you can inherit their ISA allowance.
We call this an inherited ISA allowance. It allows you to use your partner's ISA allowance as part of your own tax-free savings. This will be on top of your existing personal ISA allowance.
Let's say your partner had £5,000 in their ISA. That means your allowance this year would be the normal £20,000, which you save in your ISA, plus their £5,000 as an inherited ISA allowance. You save this inherited ISA allowance in a new cash ISA. So altogether, you could save up to £25,000 this year, tax-free.
Can you apply for an inherited ISA allowance?
To apply for an inherited ISA allowance
You need to:
- have a partner who passed away on or after 3 December 2014
- have been married to, or in a civil partnership with, your partner when they passed away
- have been living together and not been separated under a court order, a deed of separation, or in circumstances where your marriage or civil partnership had broken down
- have an email address.
You can only register the inherited ISA allowance of your partner's Nationwide cash ISAs with us. This includes any Nationwide ISA except for junior ISAs.
You also cannot use Nationwide Stocks and Shares ISAs. Although they're branded as Nationwide ISAs, they are held and managed by another ISA manager. So any inherited ISA allowance from these accounts can’t be used with us.
For ISAs held with other managers, you'll need to contact those managers instead.
Set up your inherited ISA allowance
Apply in 3 steps.
1. Register your partner’s death with us
You'll need to bring your partner's death certificate (or a certified copy of it) into a branch or send it to: Bereavement Services, Nationwide House, Pipers Way, Swindon, SN38 1NW.
We'll update our records and send you a letter to tell you about your partner’s Nationwide ISA(s) and how much they'd saved.
2. Open a new cash ISA
Once you're ready to pay in your inherited ISA allowance, you'll need to open a new 1 Year Triple Access Online ISA. You'll save your allowance in this new account. We'll open your new account within 5 working days.
You can only open one cash ISA each tax year. So if you've already opened a cash ISA this year with another ISA manager, you'll have to either:
- transfer that cash ISA to us when you apply for a new 1 Year Triple Access Online ISA
- wait until the following tax year to open a new cash ISA with us.
Even if you already have a 1 Year Triple Access Online ISA with us, you'll still need to open a new account. You can only pay towards your inherited ISA allowance in this new cash ISA.
3. Pay in your inherited ISA allowance
You can pay in your inherited ISA allowance online or in branch.
You can only make one payment to pay in your allowance. You'll lose any ISA allowance not used in this single payment.
To pay in your allowance, you'll need:
the sort code and account number of your new 1 Year Triple Access Online ISA
the date of your marriage or civil partnership
your partner's date of birth and the date they passed away
your partner's permanent residential address at the time of passing
you and your partner's National Insurance numbers
- an email address
Paying in your allowance online
Fill out our inherited ISA allowance form (opens in a new window) to pay your allowance into your new cash ISA.
You can pay in by transferring from a Nationwide current account or savings account that you hold. This savings account cannot be a cash ISA. We'll make sure the money is paid in by the end of the next working day after we’ve received your form.
Paying in your allowance in branch
You can also fill out our inherited ISA allowance form in your local branch.
In branch, you can pay in your inherited ISA allowance by cashing a cheque. The money will be paid into your account once the cheque has cleared. Find out how long it takes for a cheque to clear.
Or you can pay in by transferring from a Nationwide current account or savings account that you hold. This savings account cannot be a cash ISA.
Time limit for using your allowance
You can only use an inherited ISA allowance within:
- 3 years of your partner passing, or
- 180 days after your partner's estate has been settled.
Whichever date is later.
Deciding the value of your allowance
The value of your inherited allowance may depend on when your partner passed away.
If your partner died on or before 5 April 2018
Your extra allowance will match the amount in your partner's ISA(s) when they passed.
If your partner died on or after 6 April 2018
You have a choice. Your extra allowance could match the amount in your partner's ISA(s) when they passed.
Or, you could match the amount in your partner’s ISA(s) based on the balance at the earlier of:
- the date the administration of the estate is completed
- the date the ISA is closed
- the third anniversary of the date of death.
You can use the higher of the 2 amounts as your inherited ISA allowance.
Keep in mind, your partner's ISA can stay open and earn interest for up to 3 years after their passing. So, waiting to close their account could mean a bigger inherited ISA allowance for yourself.
Protecting your money
The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (opens in a new window) (FSCS) is a free, independent service that protects up to £85,000 of your eligible money at Nationwide.