Overseas Probate

Overseas Probate

IWC offer an overseas probate service for those dealing with estate of a loved one that died or resided abroad or had assets overseas. This could be where a relative retired to Spain and relatives must deal with probate and conveyancing in accordance with Spanish law. Or, perhaps the deceased was domiciled in the UK but has shares in the USA, where you'll require the Medallion Guarantee. It will be much faster and less demanding if you appoint a professional company such as IWC to handle it on your behalf. Call us on "0044 20 8150 2010" if calling from outside of the UK.

Call us for a quote, instant help or impartial advice on freephone0800 612 61050800 calls are free - 0333 are local rate - Just click to Call
Overseas Probate

Our Expertise - IWC have a wealth of experience in matters of foreign probate, as specialist probate practitioners we a fully conversant with overseas laws regarding probate applications, wills, intestate death, inheritance tax liability and the retrieval of assets from abroad.

Complete Service - Let IWC take care of the entire process on your behalf. We have the facilities and overseas contacts to deal with your case; enabling you the best possible chance of a smooth, swift resolution.

Applying for or Resealing Probate - We can arrange your overseas application or for the resealing of an overseas probate grant where applicable.

Power of Attorney - IWC can arrange power of attorney so a legal representative in the country concerned can sign documents on your behalf.

Medallion Stamp Guarantee - We can take care of the legal requirements to access stocks and Shares in the USA.

Foreign Wills - IWC provide an overseas will writing service for those who have assets abroad to integrate your UK will with one made overseas.

Free Telephone Advice - Call us on "0044 20 8150 2010" if calling from overseas.

No Obligation Appointments - Meet with us for a free consultation to discuss your circumstances.

There are an increasing number of people from the UK who leave the country and or buy property overseas. When they pass away, their relatives have to go through probate and conveyancing in a foreign country, the process can be fraught with difficulties, complicated and time consuming.

The Pitfalls

The process is extremely lengthy; it can take 1-2 years until beneficiaries receive inheritance from abroad. The worst part is; countries that are popular places for British to buy holiday homes or retire to such as France or Spain are often the most difficult to deal with, as they have such different legal systems.

If there are assets abroad, legalities must be reconciled between the UK and the country the assets are held. This involves a variety of different procedures:

  • The executors must be formally recognised as executors by the authorities in the country which the assets are held.
  • All official documents, such as the Will need to be translated and officially recognised by the other country.
  • If there is a foreign will this has to be validated.
  • In cases where there is a UK and an overseas will, one must not revoke the other.
  • Is the domicile of the deceased questionable? This has implications with regards to inheritance law and tax.
  • Many European countries have a system of 'forced heir-ship.' This means a significant proportion of the estate has to pass to a blood relative, unless you can prove that British laws of inheritance ought to take precedence.

Obtaining a Grant of Probate and Resealing probate

You may have applied for Probate overseas and the deceased has assets in the UK. Providing the country falls within the Probate Colonials Act, the overseas probate grant can be formally resealed by the UK by the Probate Registry. This means the estate avoids having to formally apply for probate again.

If you are dealing with a UK estate with overseas assets, you may be required to either obtain probate or reseal the existing Grant of Probate in the country where the assets exist. This depends on the laws of the country where the assets are held for example, under Jersey probate law, you'll require a new grant.

Inheritance Tax

UK Resident with Assets Abroad

If the deceased resided in the UK, inheritance tax is applied to worldwide assets. You may also have to pay inheritance tax in the country where the assets are situated. This is unless you're entitled to relief where there is a double tax treaty in place.

Domiciled Overseas

Tax is payable on assets situated in the UK that exceed the nil rate band. If tax has already been paid in the country the deceased resided in, a 'double tax treaty' may apply to prevent having to pay tax again in the UK.

Overseas probate and inheritance tax laws differ depending on which country is involved. For example; Spanish inheritance tax is payable if either the beneficiary is resident in Spain or, if the asset is property. Unlike in many other countries there is no exemption for the spouse of the deceased. As in Spain, French inheritance law means tax is applied to the beneficiaries rather than the estate. Under Polish inheritance law, the percentage IHT depends on the relationship of the beneficiary to the deceased.

In cases of foreign probate it is recommended you seek legal assistance. IWC offer free help and advice by telephone or see us in person at a no-obligation appointment. Call us now.

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Probate Overseas

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