Helping family abroad with probate service after death - case study

17 June 2019

Client Situation

Mr R died in 2018 in England, leaving his residuary Estate to be distributed between his children and grandchildren, who all live in South Africa. Mr R had made a Will with Co-op Legal Services appointing Co-op as the Executor of his Estate.

The fact that Mr R's children all live abroad presented unique challenges when dealing with practical steps, such as registering the death and arranging the funeral. So, our Probate team took care of these steps on behalf of the family before commencing with the Estate administration.

How We Helped

After Mr R's death, a Co-op Probate Consultant held a meeting with the family to compile all the relevant information about Mr R's assets. Our Probate Consultants will usually hold a face to face meeting with the family of the deceased, but as Mr R's family are all based in South Africa this wasn't possible, so arrangements were made to hold a telephone meeting instead.

The administration of Mr R's Estate was allocated to one of our Probate Case Managers, who quickly acknowledged that it was important to start dealing with the Estate as soon as possible, as the death had not been registered. Until the death was registered, the funeral could not be arranged and the death certificate could not be issued.

As all Mr R's children live abroad, Co-op undertook the duty of obtaining the required forms from the hospital to register Mr R's death. We then completed these forms on the family's behalf and visited the local registry office to register the death.

Mr R's Will stated that he would like his local Salvation Army branch to arrange his funeral. We contacted his local branch and sent the required documents to the funeral directors that had been chosen by the Salvation Army. This enabled Mr R to be released from hospital and passed into the funeral director's care.

Once the funeral arrangements were taken care of, we then started the process of valuing Mr R's Estate and we applied to the Probate Registry for the Grant of Probate.

The Outcome

As Co-op was the named Executor in the Will, the beneficiaries in South Africa did not have to sign any paperwork, instead we could deal with all of this on their behalf.

We collected in Mr R's assets before distributing the Estate in accordance with the Will to his family in South Africa. The whole Estate administration was completed in 9 months.

With our Probate Complete Service we take full responsibility for getting Grant of Probate and dealing with the Legal, Tax (excluding VAT), Property and Estate Administration affairs.

If you need help with probate, contact us:

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