Resealing a Foreign Grant of Probate

Resealing a Foreign Grant of Probate in England and Wales

When someone dies overseas but has assets located in England or Wales, the personal representative must obtain legal authority to manage those assets.

Contact us

Contact

  • “The ‘approachable, friendly and motivated’  team receives a steady flow of instructions from high-net-worth individuals and families on an array of tax planning, wealth preservation, estate and succession planning issues.”

  • “Jan is excellent with clients. She approaches complex cases with confidence and skill”

When someone dies overseas but has assets located in England or Wales, the personal representative must obtain legal authority to manage those assets. One option is “resealing” which turns a foreign grant of probate into a legal document in the UK.

Resealing can be used for grants that have been issued in countries that have, or had, a link with the Commonwealth. It’s a slightly faster and simpler process than having to apply for probate anew and allows executors to get on with managing the deceased’s property and possessions in the UK.

What is resealing grant of probate?

A grant of probate is an official document that allows a personal representative to manage the money, property and assets left behind when someone dies and distribute them according to their will. The grant will be “sealed” in the country in which it is issued.

In the UK, banks, pension companies and other asset holders will not accept a foreign grant of probate. The personal representatives will need to hold an English grant of probate to deal with assets here.

Resealing is the process by which the Probate Registry, which is part of HM Courts Service, puts a new seal on a foreign grant of probate, turning it into a legal document here. The personal representative can then use the resealed grant to deal with assets in England and Wales.

Can you reseal grants from any country?

Resealing is permitted by the Colonial Probates Act and generally applies to the old Commonwealth countries, including ones that have obtained their independence. There are 70 jurisdictions altogether, including countries like South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia and Hong Kong.

As long as the original grant of probate (or equivalent) is issued in one of the countries named in the Act, it should be possible to reseal it in England and Wales.

How do you reseal foreign probates in England and Wales?

The first step is to prepare and file an Inheritance Tax (IHT) return with HM Revenue and Customs and pay the required taxes if any are due. These forms are necessary even if there’s no tax to pay.

Evaluating the correct tax liability can be complicated when dealing with assets in more than one country. It’s usual to instruct a solicitor to deal with the reseal and the IHT forms, so you don’t miss exemptions you may be entitled to or make a mistake.

Once the tax returns are done, your solicitor will make an application for resealing to the Probate Registry. A number of documents are required for the application, including:

  • The original foreign grant or an official court sealed copy
  • An official copy of the death certificate
  • An official copy of the will
  • Receipt for Inheritance Tax from HMRC if appropriate
  • A letter of authority signed by the estate’s foreign representatives confirming that the solicitor is authorised to act on their behalf
  • Formal translations of documents that are not in English

Your solicitor will guide you through the process, explain the paperwork and advise on any potential issues that may arise.

Currently, there is a court fee of £273 for estates valued over £5,000 in the UK.

How can Osbornes help?

We are a leading private wealth practice with expertise in administering complex, cross-border estates. We can:

  • Advise whether resealing is appropriate and provide alternative options
  • Advise whether UK Inheritance Tax will be payable and prepare the necessary returns
  • Prepare and manage the Probate Registry application on your behalf

If you would like to discuss next steps or request a quote, please contact us. We would be happy to help.

Speak to us about Resealing a Foreign Grant of Probate

For a free initial conversation call 020 7485 8811

Email us Send us an email and we’ll get back to you






    Accreditations

    • Times best law firm 2024
    • Spears 500 logo
    • legal 500 leading firm
    • chambers logo

    New and Insights From our Probate LawyersVIEW ALL

    1. english countryside
      25.4.2024

      A Guide to Will Trusts

      What is a trust in a will ? Setting up a trust in your will can protect assets for your loved...

      Read more
    2. 25.4.2024

      A Guide to Asset Protection Trusts

      One good reason to place your assets into a trust is to protect family wealth without fearing for its future....

      Read more
    3. osbornes hampstead office
      25.4.2024

      What is a Mirror Will?

      Mirror wills are mirror images of each other and practically the same in every way. They suit couples, married or...

      Read more
    4. english countryside
      23.4.2024

      A Guide to Life Interest Trusts

      In today’s complex families, protecting assets for your children while ensuring that a surviving spouse can still enjoy them...

      Read more
    5. desk with flowers
      23.4.2024

      What is a discretionary trust?

      With a discretionary trust, there is no automatic right for beneficiaries to receive funds from the trust. Instead, the trustees...

      Read more
    6. night sky
      22.4.2024

      5 Things You Should Never Put in a Will

      When it comes to writing a will, you want to make sure that your wishes are known and that the...

      Read more
    7. Forged will pic
      22.3.2024

      Forged Wills

      If the contents of a will comes as a surprise, then one of the things to consider is whether the...

      Read more
    8. 14.2.2024

      What is Proprietary Estoppel?

      What is Estoppel? In general terms, estoppels operate where one party has acted on the basis of a statement made...

      Read more
    9. 14.2.2024

      Duties of Trustees

      What is a trustee? When someone sets up a trust, they will appoint trustees to manage the trust and its...

      Read more
    10. Deed of variation to a will
      3.11.2023

      Deed of Variation: Making a Change to an...

      What is a deed of variation? A deed of variation is a legal document which can be used to alter...

      Read more
    11. Constructive Trusts
      31.10.2023

      Constructive Trusts

      Property rights are not always clear-cut. Sometimes, a person who does not legally own a property could be entitled to...

      Read more
    12. osbornes law writing pad
      17.9.2023

      What is a Codicil?

      What is a codicil to a will? Life has a habit of changing and your will may need to change...

      Read more
    13. man looking at a lake
      31.8.2023

      Can Someone With Dementia Make A Will or...

      It’s a sad reality in an ageing population that more people than ever suffer from dementia in the UK....

      Read more
    14. waiting
      31.8.2023

      Can a Lasting Power of Attorney Be Challenged?

      The number of people recognising the importance of making a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) has risen dramatically in recent...

      Read more
    15. 10 tips
      26.7.2023

      Wills Disputes: The Duty To Account Is Not...

      Beneficiaries frequently ask us whether trustees or personal representatives can be required to provide a financial account. Their request may...

      Read more
    16. international map and money
      9.6.2023

      Will Dispute Case Law

      New Births And New Relationships? Review Your Will To Avoid A Dispute You’d imagine a wealthy businessman with assets...

      Read more
    17. older couple
      9.6.2023

      Of Bad Character: Undue Influence Claim Succeeds

      Naidoo v Barton: undue influence and the risks of mutual wills Can someone’s bad character be used to prove...

      Read more
    18. lady holding a cup
      22.5.2023

      Case Law: Dementia-Induced Mild Cognitive Impairment

      Dementia is a harsh reality for increasing numbers of families. Sadly, it means the disputed wills solicitors at Osbornes Law...

      Read more
    19. eu flags
      26.4.2023

      German Court Rules on EU Succession Regulation

      Succession laws vary from country to country which historically made the administration of cross-border estates potentially complex. Since 17 August 2015, the...

      Read more
    20. couple holding hands
      16.3.2023

      Are trusts protected from divorce?

      Can trusts protect an inheritance from your spouse? A trust is a separate legal entity. Neither spouse owns its assets....

      Read more
    21. the moon
      1.3.2023

      How to prevent someone contesting a will

      It is fairly rare in my experience for a parent to write a child out of their will but that...

      Read more
    22. primrose hill london
      8.2.2023

      Gifting Property to Children

      Can I gift property to my children? Gifting a property to your adult children is a relatively complex transaction but...

      Read more
    23. house in regents park london
      15.11.2022

      Contentious Probate Case Studies

      Contentious probate involving business assets Our contentious probate solicitors act for the defendants to a claim issued to pronounce in...

      Read more
    24. last will and testament disputes
      27.10.2022

      Contesting A Will Case Studies

      Will dispute on grounds of lack of capacity Our contesting a will solicitors acted for the claimants, the adult daughters...

      Read more

    VIEW ALL