What Is International Probate?

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What Is International Probate?

International probate is the legal procedure for administering a deceased person’s estate across multiple countries. When an individual dies with assets in one or more countries other than England and Wales, probate is typically required in all of the countries where the assets are located, which can complicate and extend the procedure.

What is the legislation regarding international probate in the UK?

Dealing with the various rules in multiple countries becomes essential when the estate of a deceased individual includes assets in more than one country. As a result, probate will be necessary not only in the United Kingdom but also in any other country where the assets may be located. When it comes to probate and the distribution of assets, every country has its own set of regulations. For instance, under German law, a person is obligated to leave a portion of their inheritance to living relatives, but under English law, people have the freedom to pick who gets what when they die. To successfully administer an estate with assets located in more than one country, it is essential to have international probate practitioners on staff who are current on succession law and how it differs around the world.

Tax implications of international probate in the UK

There are complicated regulations and fiscal ramifications for international probate. Depending on the circumstances, you should consult an overseas probate practitioner. Generally speaking, inheritance tax is only due on a deceased person’s UK assets if their domicile, or permanent residence, was outside of the UK. From the perspective of inheritance, if you are not a resident of the UK, you typically only have to pay inheritance tax if the assets you inherit are based in the UK, and you are not required to pay capital gains tax (CGT) if you sell the majority of your assets there. This is a basic guideline that might not apply to you given your particular situation. Seek help if you are unsure.

What Is the Role of an International Probate Practitioner?

International probate practitioners can assist families, friends, and loved ones with estate administration when the deceased person’s assets are located in multiple countries. International probate is frequently stressful and time-consuming; therefore, hiring the services of an international probate practitioner will make the process as simple and stress-free as possible. More significantly, professional counsel guarantees that the procedure is conducted correctly. Being an executor entails numerous dangers, and overseas probate adds another layer of complexity and heightens that risk. International probate practitioners help clients with cross-border transactions. Because each country has its own unique probate rules, administering cross-border estates is exceedingly involved and necessitates a high level of specialised legal skill to guarantee the procedure is done correctly and effectively.

UK probate involving foreign property

When a person dies in the UK and leaves overseas assets, it is critical to determine which country’s laws apply to the foreign property in order to handle its administration. It is also necessary to determine whether or not the deceased individual left a will, as a will may include precise instructions and information on the property abroad, as well as express intentions for what happens to it following their death.

Resealing a foreign grant of probate

The process of obtaining a resealed grant of probate is determined by where the deceased individual lived and where their assets were located. Resealing probate implies having it formally recognised by a probate register in the United Kingdom. The Colonial Probate Acts safeguard certain countries and areas, allowing for the resealing of a foreign grant of probate in England; these include Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, Canada, Hong Kong, Singapore, the Bahamas, St Lucia, and Jamaica. If a grant of probate has been obtained in one of the countries covered by the Acts, international law normally requires the grant to be resealed in England and Wales.

The Benefits Of Working With International Probate Practitioners In The UK

International probate practitioners in the United Kingdom are well-versed in both estate and tax rules that apply to England and Wales, as well as other nations worldwide. This understanding, together with the ability to apply it to unique situations of international probate, ensures successful completion. You must understand the local estate and tax laws in the relevant countries, as well as how these laws relate to one another, and international probate practitioners may provide comprehensive guidance on processes. Whether you want to complete probate on your own and just need some guidance from international probate practitioners, or you want international probate practitioners to handle the entire estate administration process on your behalf, working with a probate professional will provide you with expertise, support, and peace of mind that every step of the process will be completed correctly and on time.

Selecting An International Probate Lawyer or Practitioner in the UK

Qualifications for international probate practitioners in the UK

To be classified as an international probate practitioner, you must be a qualified practitioner in the United Kingdom as well as possess the necessary professional knowledge. Make sure your possible foreign probate lawyer or practitioner has the necessary qualifications to handle your probate case.

Knowledge and experience of the international probate process

You want an international probate lawyer with an established history of handling cross-border estates accurately and efficiently. Your practitioner should have dealt with estates of various sizes in various countries around the world, as well as UK estates with foreign assets and overseas estates with UK assets, to ensure a confident understanding of the tax implications and the entire probate administration process.


When it comes to experience, you want an international probate practitioner who has handled estate administration in the country or nations relevant to the probate at hand.

Language and knowledge of the country involved

Make sure your foreign probate lawyer or practitioner’s credentials fit the requirements of the deceased’s cross-border estate. This entails selecting a professional practitioner who speaks the language and is familiar with the laws and customs of the nation or countries where the deceased person’s assets are located. Alternatively, if they lack the necessary language or cultural understanding, make sure they have legal contacts in the required area or countries. The lawyer’s expertise in the specific country’s estate and tax laws will make the procedure go more smoothly because he or she will be able to complete the necessary transactions promptly and accurately for a successful completion.

Avatar of DLS Solicitors by DLS Solicitors
16th May 2024
Avatar of DLS Solicitors
DLS Solicitors

Our team of professionals are based in Alderley Edge, Cheshire. We offer clear, specialist legal advice in all matters relating to Family Law, Wills, Trusts, Probate, Lasting Power of Attorney and Court of Protection.

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