As more and more people move abroad each year, we often come across situations where a person dies overseas but leaves assets registered in England.

When someone dies, the authority to administer their estate is conferred by the Grant of Probate. If the deceased has died outside the UK, the procedure to obtain probate can vary significantly. It can depend upon where the deceased was classed as permanently living at the date of death, whether they had a will and whether the foreign will is admissible to probate in England and Wales.

Resealing a Grant of Probate

So, when the deceased lived abroad but also owned assets in England or Wales (such as a property, bank accounts or shareholdings) it may also be necessary to obtain authority from the UK Probate Registry to deal with those assets by obtaining a ‘reseal’ of the foreign Grant.

Resealing is a fast and efficient way to obtain recognition of a local probate document by the English courts. When a reseal has been obtained, it allows an executor or administrator to gain access to assets registered in the country which has issued the reseal.

To apply to the Probate Registry to ‘reseal’ the overseas Grant, rather than apply for a separate Grant, the deceased needs to have been living in an applicable jurisdiction or Commonwealth country.

The documents required to complete the reseal are:

  • original foreign grant
  • translation of the Will if it is not in English
  • written request from each grantee for the grant to be resealed and confirming the deceased was domiciled in the country where the grant was issued
  • full inheritance tax account
  • payment of the probate registry’s fee

​​Obtaining a Grant of Probate in the UK

If the deceased died in a non-Commonwealth country and it is not possible to reseal the foreign Grant, then a full application for Grant of Representation will be required. This can be a complex process because the overseas inheritance procedures may have to be explained to the UK Probate Court so as to ensure Probate is granted to the correct person.

The UK Probate Court will require an Affidavit of Foreign Law and a full understanding of the inheritance process involved in the Country of the deceased. They will also require Court sealed papers showing who has been appointed to deal with the estate with a translation in English.

Next steps

Our probate lawyers have experience where the deceased died domiciled overseas and dealing with international assets. For more information on how we can assist, contact our Wills, Trusts and Probate team on 0161 941 4000 or email lawyers@myerson.co.uk.