Obtaining probate in the UK can be time consuming and complex if you live outside the UK and for this reason it is always sensible to seek legal help.
As a firm that helps lots of overseas executors and administrators with probate in the UK, we typically find that the following questions often arise :-
Understanding the UK Probate process
Understanding the UK inheritance process can be complicated, if you do not live in the UK, as the terminology can differ significantly from that used outside the UK.
Put simply, to administer an estate and collect assets a legal process known as probate must be undertaken. This involves an application being made by the Executor of a will for the issue of a legal document known as a grant of probate. Once obtained this enables assets to be collected eg. bank accounts, property etc. If there is no will, the task is undertaken by the administrator.
All applications involve the completion of a compulsory inheritance tax return, as in the UK inheritance tax is payable at the rate of 40% for those estates above £325,000, unless exemptions apply.
Can I use an Overseas will or probate in the UK ?
You cannot use an overseas grant in the UK without first applying to our probate courts. The process varies significantly depending upon the Country in which the deceased died. If the deceased died in a former commonwealth country listed under the Colonial Probates Act, then this means that overseas grant maybe Resealed In the UK. This involves an application to our probate courts, whereby the overseas grant is stamped and can in turn be used in the UK.
We regularly undertake reseal applications from Australia, New Zealand, Canada, South Africa and Malaysia and you can read more about our services by clicking here
If a Country is not recognised by the UK under the Colonial probates act, this means that a specific application supported by an affidavit of foreign law will be required. The process and application varies significantly depending on the Country and the inheritance process that has been followed, and whether the documents will need translating.
Do I have to attend the UK ?
Often executors believe that may have to attend the Uk to handle probate in the UK – this is not the case. paperwork, can be signed before a Notary Public or a Vice -Consul at an Embassey
Affidavits of Foreign law
Very often our probate courts will ask for a document known as an Affidavit of Foreign law. This can be a complex document, as it sets out the law according to the country of domicile of the deceased person. We regularly assist in the preparation and advice of such documents with overseas lawyers, and attorneys.
If you live outside the UK and need help with probate in the UK, we can help. In the first instance please contact Tim Murden at firstname.lastname@example.org or call on 00 44 1482 429985