How to deal with the English property of a foreign domiciled deceased?

The English property of a non-dom deceased cannot be accessed without either an English grant of probate or a foreign grant resealed in the English courts.  The process depends on whether or not the person who died left a will and the place where they were domiciled.

To reseal a foreign grant, you need to be in a recognised jurisdiction (see Colonial Probates Act Application Order 1965), submit a written request from each ”executor” on the grant, an appropriate inheritance tax account and the required fee.

In the absence of a foreign grant or where it cannot be resealed you can apply for an English grant provided that the will is “admissible to proof” in an English court (generally this means that it conforms to the law where the person was domiciled – you should take specialist advice on this).  In addition to the will, a translation where necessary, the oath, the IHT account and fee, you will also need to submit an affidavit establishing that the will is admissible to proof in England and Wales.

Where there is no appropriate will, you must make an application to the English court for a grant.  This may be given to the person entitled with the executor role under the law of the deceased’s domicile, or to someone entitled to inherit the property or to anyone else the court so directs.

Finally if the only property is immoveable property then an application can be made as if the deceased died domiciled in England Wales, appointing those persons who would otherwise be entitled on intestacy or where there was a will but no executor.

It is clear that often an affidavit is required confirming the application of the laws of the domicile and the admission of the will to proof and as such this is an area where it would be advisable to get proper legal advice from an experienced firm of solicitors, given the complexities involved. 

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