Foreign Assets and Probate

by | Dec 7, 2021 | Probate

Many people are buying or investing and currently own foreign property abroad. We all know someone who has an apartment or Villa abroad or maybe have lived or worked abroad at some point and have investments held in foreign banks.

But what happens to these assets when they die and how do you deal with a foreign asset?

Will they be dealt with under the UK law or will that country`s laws take precedence?

Such matters can make dealing with a probate of a loved one much more complicated and we highly recommend seeking expert professional advice.

The matter of Domicile

Each country will have its own set of laws which govern Probate and how such assets should be dealt with.

A very important aspect is that of Domicile.

Where was the deceased domiciled covers where the deceased had their permanent residency or home when they died and where they usually lived and were going to spend the rest of their lives.

It is not necessarily as you might expect the place where you are born.

Domicile is very important in this instance and will have implications as to any inheritance Tax payable on the estate.

Did the deceased leave a Will?

Whether the deceased left a Will as this often contains vital information regarding the foreign assets.

Moveable assets

Whether the foreign asset is moveable such as money held in foreign bank accounts or immoveable such as property or land eg: your holiday home also has important implications.

Normally moveable assets can be dealt with under the law of the country the deceased was domiciled.

Immovable assets

However immoveable assets such as your holiday apartment or villa will be subject to the laws within the country they are situated.

Therefore, it is always advisable to seek local professional legal advice in the country where the asset is held.

We’re here if you need advice

For further advice on this topic contact our office and we will be happy to discuss such matters further with you.

If you would like help dealing with Probate, contact us today on 01656 335145. Alternatively, you can email us at or complete our online contact form.

For more information on how we can help please see our probate services, or if you have any queries please get in touch.


The information provided is of a general nature. It is not a substitute for specific advice in your own circumstances. You are recommended to obtain specific professional advice from an appropriate professional before you take any action or refrain from action. Whilst we endeavour to use reasonable efforts to furnish accurate, complete, reliable, error free and up-to-date information, we do not warrant that it is such. We and our associates disclaim all warranties. The information can only provide an overview of the regulations in force at the date of publication, and no action should be taken without consulting the detailed legislation or seeking professional advice.

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