Residence or domicile – what’s the difference?

These two concepts are very important in English law. Residence is more or less what it says – the place where a person is living. Domicile is rather more complicated – the legal jurisdiction in which is located the country that a person treats as their permanent home or lives in and has a substantial connection with. So you could be living in England but be domiciled in Scotland or vice versa. You might have a holiday home in Spain and live there most of the time but still be domiciled in England and Wales.

The inheritance tax treatment depends on domicile and, as more and more people have an international aspect to their lives, the subject is becoming more important in winding up estates. At Probaters we have a network of lawyers in jurisdictions around the world with whom we work to ensure that the correct treatment is applied.

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