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As our world evolves, the ability of an individual to live, work or invest abroad becomes easier. With families becoming more internationally diverse, the result is that an increasing amount of individuals own assets in more than one jurisdiction.

Our firm is home to a dedicated team of international probate solicitors that specialise exclusively in international estate cases. If you are an executor, administrator or beneficiary responsible for dealing with foreign assets, our international estate lawyers are here to help you to navigate the foreign legal requirements.

Why would an estate require a grant of probate from another country?

The authority granted to an executor, administrator or beneficiary in one country may not automatically be recognised in another country. For example, if a grant of probate (or the equivalent) has been issued outside of the UK, this authority may not be enough on its own to deal with bank accounts, investments or land situated in the UK. Before the UK assets can be administered, the foreign grant may need to be “resealed” or formally recognised by a probate registry in the UK.

Where an estate has assets in multiple jurisdictions, a number of different court authorities or notarial declarations may be required to attend to the administration of those assets.

How can our international estate solicitors assist with this?

Our international estate lawyers have specialised in this area for decades and we are proud to offer a wealth of expertise and contacts.

When attending to foreign assets, you may find that you have to comply with complicated foreign laws and taxes, and there may also be a language barrier. We are familiar with the requirements of foreign courts and asset companies throughout the majority of countries throughout the world. We are often able to attend to the administration of a foreign asset directly from our office.

For foreign domiciled estates, our Probate Solicitors frequently handle applications for probate in the UK and adjacent regions. Through our many years of attending to such applications, we have great relationships with our local probate registry and the courts in Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man. We also regularly assist with administering shares, bank accounts and investment funds located in the USA and Canada.

Through our MSI Global Alliance membership, our Probate Solicitors have access to an extensive global network of legal and financial professionals., which help us to provide fast and dependable advice.

How much does an international estate administration cost?

Our probate solicitors deal with international estates that come in all different shapes and sizes, for example, they can range from administering a small foreign bank account to an individual leaving a number of properties situated all over the world; with a number of different estate taxes to pay.

As our cases rarely contain the same facts, it can be difficult to quote purely based on the value of the assets. For this reason, our fees are based on time and the complexity of the estate. For example, at the start of each case, we consider the range of assets, the jurisdictions involved and whether UK inheritance tax or other foreign estate tax is payable.

Where possible, we offer a fixed fee. If you would like to obtain a quote, please email our international estate lawyers with the following key information:

  • The country where the deceased has passed away;
  • The type of foreign assets, for example, land, stocks and shares, investment funds or bank accounts;
  • The country in which the assets are located;
  • The approximate value of the assets, which will then provide us with an indication as to whether inheritance tax or a foreign estate tax may be applicable.

International Probate & Estates

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The team at Lester Aldridge advises on wills, probate, estate planning and administration and tax matters.

"All members of Lester Aldridge have demonstrated a high level of competence and expertise. They have excellent client service: response is always timely, friendly throughout and helpful in progressing the case."Close quote
Private Wealth Law
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Able to draw on close working ties with the firm's specialist probate team, the ‘experienced, knowledgeable, efficient and friendly’, Lester Aldridge LLP divides its practice into three core teams; UK Private Client, UK Tax and Trusts and International Private Client. The team is led by Kurt Lee, Oliver Phipps, and Mahendree Naidoo, the latter of whom joined the team in 2022. Close quote
Personal tax, trusts & probate
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The team specialises in international probate matters and is specialist in dealing with cross-border estates. They are efficient at obtaining UK Grants of Representations in matters where I have required a UK Grant to deal with UK situs assets. The team is particularly responsive and cost-effective.Close quote
Client testimonial
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We had a very complicated Estate for them to deal with, crossing from South Africa to the UK. They were able to help us even through the difficulties, including the impact of dealing with the UK probate issues. Lucy Wadley was extremely helpful and put up with our endless emails.Close quote
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The team at Lester Aldridge are very experienced, knowledgeable, efficient and friendly.Close quote
Client testimonial
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Lester Aldridge LLP is a practice whose level of expertise in personal tax, trusts and probate matters is exceptional, particularly in complex, cross-border matters where there are interactions between differing legal systems which may impact on a client’s overall structures and planning. Their knowledge of the interplay between the jurisdictions and their ability to navigate their clients smoothly through this complex field sets the practice apart.Close quote
Client testimonial
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I just wanted to say thankyou so much for helping me through the transfer and sales of my husband's shares. You have been incredibly professional, supportive and kind throughout this very long and difficult process. many thanks, L ReesClose quote
Client Testimonal
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Excellent service. From the moment we got in contact about a complex matter relating to my late father’s estate, Hannah could not have been more helpful. She set out the timescales, guided us through each step and pro-actively dealt with issues as they arose, responding quickly to all of our queries. She was at all times extremely professional and diligent, making a highly complicated and lengthy process as straightforward as possible.
Would definitely recommend.Close quote
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Lucy Wadley and her team were excellent in sorting out a cross-border probate share distribution issue between the USA and the UK. All work completed for the price quoted- despite numerous problems. Highly recommended.Close quote
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