International Estate Administration and Probate
Dealing with the estate in the UK of someone who dies abroad or is domiciled abroad can be complex and time consuming. At Stratford Solicitors we aim to ensure that our expertise results in the personal representative(s) of the deceased’s estate being able to obtain the appropriate authority to administer that estate quickly and efficiently and without being troubled by the complexities involved.
Where the deceased left a Will, but was domiciled abroad or had assets abroad, difficulties frequently arise in establishing the validity of the Will (there is often more than one Will purportedly dealing with property in another country). The Will may be in a foreign language requiring authentic translation or require evidence of the applicable foreign law before it can be admitted by the courts.
Where the deceased did not leave a Will (known as being intestate) determining who has title on intestacy can prove even more complicated. When someone dies domiciled in another country and that person had assets in the UK applications to the probate registries do not follow the usual provisions.
The Colonial Probates Acts 1892 and 1927 allow grants of representation issued by the Courts of Commonwealth countries (and some other former colonies and protectorates) to be resealed by the Court here to administer an estate in England and Wales, and, grants of representation issued here can be resealed to administer an estate in the reciprocating countries. If the deceased was not domiciled in the UK and when they died they were not domiciled in a reciprocating country, the procedure for obtaining a grant in the UK can be complex.
We can provide the following services within this area of the law:
- We can assist in resealing Foreign Probates, Appointments and Letters of Administration
- We can obtain Grants of Probate and Letters of Administration
- We are able to prepare Wills
- We are able to administer estates involving assets in countries such as the UK, Jersey, Guernsey, The Isle of Man, The Republic of Ireland, North America and many other global jurisdictions
- We are able to arrange Affidavits of foreign law
- We can advise on conflicts of law, domicile, death duties, succession and cross-border issues across all major global jurisdictions
- We can assist in tracing beneficiaries, shareholding histories, Income and Capital Gains Tax, valuation requests, dividends and other distribution payments
- We are able to advise on Succession Law and the structure of Wills
Stratford Solicitors have engaged a dedicated team to ease the burden of these problematic cases. Headed by Nick Stratford and advised by Keith Biggs, the former Registrar of the Winchester District Probate Registry and writer and lecturer on probate law, the team will deal with any probate application where a “foreign” element occurs.