What do you do when someone who is not British dies with British assets?
You need to get British Probate
What is UK Probate?
So how do you get British probate for someone who is a not British resident and has British assets?
There are a lot of forms to complete
Where the person who died lived in a Commonwealth country the local grant of probate has to be resealed in Britain.
The forms needed are: British tax forms IHT200 or 400 plus IHT 207 and IHT 421, all of which can be obtained from http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/inheritancetax/. You then send them to:
HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC)
PO Box 38
Nottingham NG2 1BB.
There may be extra schedules to fill in depending on the type of assets
You will also need to send to the probate registry:
1. The original local Grant of Probate and 2 copies
2. The original Will and 3 copies
3. Letters of Authority signed by the two Executors (if you are using a solicitor)
4. Cheque for the appropriate fee, around £155 if you use a solicitor, £215 if you don’t.
Where the person who died came from a non-Commonwealth country you will also need an expert in the local law to swear an oath about the assets in the estate. The oath will confirm that the correct amount of local tax has been paid. The British tax forms (as above) have to be completed and the person responsible for administering the estate has to swear an affidavit which sets out the value of the assets in Britain.
Wherever the late person lived British tax is payable if the estate is beyond a certain value and if there is no double taxation treaty.
What does British Probate cost?
Some people apply for British Probate themselves but you should be aware of the following:
- It will take time and patience, especially if there are a lot of assets which have to be valued then sold, or there are several beneficiaries;
- It is essential to be completely accurate and scrupulously fair in everything you do, or you risk a claim from a beneficiary;
- This is often a time of great stress, and families can fall out. There is a lot to be said for an independent specialist taking the strain away from the family;
- Claims can be made against the estate by people who were not named in the Will. A solicitor can advise you about the risks and help to protect you against them.
For help and advice with British Probate for non-British Residents at an agreed fixed fee, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.