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Resealing Foreign Grants of Probate

Resealing foreign grants of probate

When someone close to you dies but they lived abroad owing assets in England and Wales, there are steps you will need to take in order to administer the deceased’s assets. In some cases, this may mean that you must reseal a foreign grant of representation (which may be a grant of probate or a grant of letters of administration) which has already issued abroad.

At Freeths, we can take you, the deceased’s personal representative, through this process. Our team of experienced lawyers can advise on the resealing process and if it is an appropriate course of action.

If you have questions about this process, please do contact us.


What is resealing a grant of probate?

A resealed grant gives the deceased’s personal representatives legal authority to administer the assets in England and Wales. When a foreign grant is resealed by the UK Probate Registry, that is confirmation that the foreign grant is recognised as a valid grant in England and Wales. Financial organisations will recognise a resealed foreign grant and it can be used in exactly the same way as an English grant.

Resealing can be used for grants which have been issued in many different jurisdictions, most of which have had or retain a link with the Commonwealth.

A resealed grant can be issued to:

  • the person entrusted with the estate administration by the Court where the deceased died domiciled
  • the person beneficially entitled to the estate by the law of the place of domicile
  • the executor named in the will

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What documents are required to reseal a grant of probate?

If you want to know how to reseal a foreign grant of probate, it is important to note that the Probate Registry is able to reseal one of the following:

  • the original foreign grant
  • an official copy of the foreign grant with the seal of the issuing Court
  • a copy grant certified as correct under the authority of the issuing Court
  • an exemplification of the original grant

If there is a will, it should ideally be officially attached to the grant. If it is not, a copy of the will certified, or sealed by the Court in which it has already been proved, must be lodged and it must be sufficiently identified as a copy of the proved will.

The Probate Registry application fee is currently £273 (only payable if the net estate in England and Wales is over £5,000). An additional £1.50 is charged for each additional copy grant required.

It will also be necessary to complete and file an inheritance tax return, even if no UK inheritance tax is payable. This will either be a long-form or short-form inheritance tax return, depending on the nature and value of the assets in England and Wales and the deceased’s former links with the UK.

How long does it take to reseal a grant of probate?

Once the inheritance tax return and Probate Registry application have been completed, it will take approximately four to five months for the resealed grant of probate to be issued by the Probate Registry.


How can Freeths help?

We have a leading private client practice with expertise in administering complex estates, including resealing foreign grants and administering cross-border estates.

We can:

  • advise whether resealing is suitable and provide alternative options
  • advise whether UK inheritance tax will be payable (including advice on any available exemptions or reliefs)
  • prepare the documents required for the reseal (including the inheritance tax return and Probate Registry application) and submit these to the relevant organisations to expedite the process
  • apply for permission from the Probate Registry to reseal a grant if the circumstances require prior approval

Why choose Freeths to help with resealing grant of probate?

We understand that being the personal representative for someone who has died can mean that you have questions about what to do next – especially if the deceased lived abroad. We have a team of experts who can help with any questions you have about how to reseal a foreign grant.

We are:

  • one of the largest, leading full-service UK commercial law firms in the UK
  • listed in The Times Best Law Firms 2023
  • a firm that comprises lawyers that consistently rank in The Legal 500 and Chambers top tiers

If you would like to discuss next steps or request a quote, please contact us. We would be happy to assist.

Meet the team

Resealing Foreign Grants of Probate Lawyers

Scott McKittrick

Scott McKittrick

0345 274 6851

Lisa Schiel
Managing Associate

0186 578 1079

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‘Doing the right thing’ is at the heart of Freeths. Find out more about our excellent client service and the strong set of values that guide the way we work.

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Freeths are a leading national law firm with 13 offices across the UK. If you have a query about our services or just want to find out more, why not give us a call?

Contact: 03301 001 014

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