Often people are unaware that shares or investments they hold may be registered in jurisdictions other than the UK. This can cause substantial delays and expenditure in relation to probate if they are left under a will.
Not all jurisdictions will recognise a British grant of probate or letters of administration. This means when executors come to dealing with the investments, assets or property in a different company, it may be that the executors have to pay to have the grant resealed, or even apply for probate in that country and pay local legal costs. This can diminish the value of the estate and any legacies that you leave behind. In addition, there are different tax rules in different countries, so it is always best to speak to a professional if you are unsure.
Fortunately, there are ways to make things easier. It is worth while checking to see if any investments or assets are registered by a different company. If so, it may be worth while holding stocks and shares through a nominee system. This would avoid the need to transfer shares to UK executors after death and potentially save bank charges. Another solution is if assets are held in different countries, a separate will can be made for foreign assets dealing with them as a separate matter.
Administrating an Estate can sometimes prove to be a difficult and time-consuming affair. At Parnalls we are here to assist and to help make it an easier and more efficient process.
For more information on probate and estate administration, please contact the head of our private client department, Deborah Adams, on 01566 772 375 or at AdamsD@Parnalls.com