What to do when a person dies overseas

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With so many options of travel and working from home, there is an increasing number of people moving abroad but continuing to have their place of work in the UK and retaining assets in England such as:

  • bank accounts
  • pensions
  • property

Consequently, there has been an increase in the number of people who are dying abroad whilst retaining assets in the UK. In such circumstances, the procedure required to obtain Probate is a very different one depending on where the deceased was domiciled at the date of death (where the deceased’s permanent home was at the time of their death, i.e., whether it was in England or in another country).

What is a Grant of Representation?

When a person dies owning assets in England or Wales a grant of probate is often required before these assets can be dealt with (such as bank accounts, pensions, shares, and property). However, if the deceased is domiciled in another country, a grant of representation will be required from this country before the assets in England or Wales can be administered. In this case, an application will need to be made at the UK Probate Court to administer those assets by completing a Reseal of the Foreign Grant. The reseal of this grant, will enable the personal representative to administer the assets in England or Wales.

How do I complete a Reseal of a Grant of Representation?

To be able to complete a Reseal of a Grant of Representation obtained in another country, the deceased must have been living in a commonwealth country. If the deceased was not domiciled in a commonwealth country, then it may be that a whole new application for a separate grant of probate will be required.

Obtaining a Grant of Probate when the deceased in non-domiciled in the UK can be a complex process, as the UK Court will want a full explanation and understanding of the inheritance procedures in the country of domicile. This will usually be set out by way of an affidavit confirming the law of this country. All court papers, documents, and inheritance papers of the country of domicile will also be required, to include a translation in English, to enable the English Court to determine that the Grant is being issued to the correct person.

If you live in another country but own assets in the United Kingdom, or if you require any assistance with the administration of assets held in the UK by a deceased person not domiciled in the UK, please do not hesitate to get in touch and we will be happy to explain the options available to you and how we may be able to assist you.

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