Probate varies between different jurisdictions (countries) – and even within the UK, there are different rules in the different countries (England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland).
Wills made in the UK may also involve international probate, as assets held in different jurisdictions are subject to the rules of probate in that jurisdiction.
When assets such as money or property are held across several jurisdictions, it may mean applying for probate in each different country. This is time consuming and can make administering an estate in which there are international assets extremely complex.
A solution to internationally held assets is to make an international will, which will help simplify the probate process for a will made in the UK, to overcome the issue of having to apply for probate in different countries.
For example – while the law of England and Wales will use domicile to decide on how assets will be passed on, other countries may consider the deceased’s nationality or where they held assets in considering how an estate should be distributed.
Different countries also have varying positions on the distribution of moveable assets – as well as those considered to be immoveable, such as property or land.
Tax liabilities can also be extremely complex when assets are held internationally – and even tracing assets for the purposes of probate may prove a challenge if a business or offshore assets are involved.
Duncan Lewis Probate solicitors can advise on the drafting of international wills to make sure the probate process is as simple as possible and beneficiaries receive their inheritance as soon as possible.
Duncan Lewis can also assist with tracing assets, as well as advising on taxes that might be applicable to an international will – including local taxes and capital gains tax or inheritance tax.
Our specialist Probate solicitors and lawyers can also advise families and overseas lawyers on affidavits of foreign law in international probate matters, where a will written in the UK also exists.
For expert legal advice on UK and international probate, call Duncan Lewis Wills and Probate solicitors on 0333 772 0409.