Dealing with Foreign Assets during the Administration of an Estate

09 June 2017

When someone dies the administration of their Estate needs to encompass all the assets the deceased person owned, wherever those assets are situated in the world.

Foreign assets held can vary from property and possessions to bank accounts or other investments such as stocks and shares. Some of the Estates which our Probate Solicitors have dealt with have included them all.

The process of administration will depend on the asset concerned, and also the laws of the country in which the asset is held. Foreign Estate administration is an extremely complicated area, but it’s an area in which our Probate Solicitors can help you.

Dealing with Foreign Property

When there is a valid Will in place it is firstly vital to establish if it deals with foreign property held along with any UK assets. It is not unusual for some Wills to specifically refer to disposing of an Estate held in a particular country (often that of where the deceased was domiciled). If this were the case then further checks would need to be completed to see if there was another Will (perhaps a foreign Will) dealing with the overseas assets.

If there is no valid Will, the property and assets would be distributed in accordance with the succession rules of the country where the asset is held. In this case we could liaise with a Lawyer in that particular country who would advise on the country’s Probate rules, and assist you in meeting their requirements to fully deal with the property.

Dealing with other Foreign Assets

In addition to foreign property, Estates can often have foreign shares or other types of investments within them which need to be administered. We can arrange valuations of foreign assets held using one of our specialist providers.

Again, the process of administering the asset is led by the laws of the country within which the asset is held, but the process for either selling or transferring the asset usually requires that the Grant of Probate is ‘resealed’ in the country where the asset is held.

As part of our Probate Complete Service we can directly liaise with international institutions regarding their requirements. We can also instruct an International Lawyer should a particular institution require this involvement.

Co-op Legal Services is the largest provider of Probate & Estate Administration services in England & Wales, trusted to deal with over £1.3 billion in Estates annually.

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