Bringing your investments "Home" for probate purposes

If you hold any overseas shareholdings, you might just find a very costly sting in the tail on your estate – so inheritance planning is key.

I came across a case recently where a parent’s estate included a shareholding in a company that was based in the Channel Islands. In order to acquire the asset, it was necessary to complete an additional probate process. After all, probate is treated according to the country it belongs to, so if the resident is a UK resident, but has assets in three countries abroad, probate may need to be processed in every single country.

The end result could be a large financial chunk of the estate being (needlessly) spent and therefore decrease the value of any shareholding. The moral of the story here is to ensure that, if this applies to you, and you hold any shareholdings or other assets or investments held in other countries, be warned that your executors may need to obtain the equivalent of a grant of probate in other jurisdictions.

However, it is not as simple as just signing a piece of paper. Documentation dealing with foreign assets/estates and shareholdings would normally be require to be notarised to be acceptable abroad and to ensure that everyone involved in the transaction accepts and trusts the authenticity and legitimacy of those documents. A Notary Public is a lawyer whose qualification is recognised worldwide, is trained and insured to deal with documentation for use abroad, can witness the signing of such documents and ensure all formalities required are properly complied with.

In the event of handling foreign assets, very few solicitors are also qualified as Notaries and so are unable to notarise such document. So if you need any kind of documentation notarised, or you are dealing with foreign assets, make sure you are getting the right advice.

At Downs Solicitors and Notaries, there are a number of legal experts on hand to help. We have the knowledge and experience to deal with your request, plus, we have skilled notaries willing to assist/advise you and your family about bringing any investments back home for probate purposes. Contact us for more information.

Liz Dalgetty

Liz Dalgetty

Consultant Solicitor & Notary Public

Tel: +44 (0) 1306 502251

Office: Dorking Office