Resealing a Foreign Grant

If someone has died domiciled or permanently living outside of England and Wales, you may find that the grant (or the local equivalent) does not automatically enable the personal representatives to deal with the assets located in the England and Wales.

Depending on where the deceased died, it may be possible to reseal the foreign grant which provides the legal authority to collect in the English and Welsh assets and thereby avoid having to apply for probate again in England and Wales.

The ability to reseal is not extended to all foreign grants. The Colonial Probates Act Application Order lists the countries and territories whose grant can be resealed, including Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Virgin Islands, Gibraltar and Hong Kong.

If a reseal is possible, then the person(s) named on the grant by the issuing authority, up to a maximum of four, will be able to apply for the reseal. The English and Welsh seal will be applied on either the original grant (or equivalent), a court sealed and certified copy, or an exemplification of the probate document. A court sealed and certified copy of the Will (and codicil) will also need to be produced, if there was one. Invariably, the issuing jurisdiction will retain the original Will. The relevant tax form will also need to be filed, together with a letter of authority signed by the personal representatives and the court fee.

There is no need to reseal the Scottish confirmation or the Northern Irish grant, where the deceased domiciled into those jurisdictions; these will have a similar standing to the English and Welsh grant.

If the deceased died in a non-Commonwealth country, including Isle of Man and the Channel Islands, then a full application for a grant will need to be submitted.

NSS Legal Limited can assist with:

  • Reviewing the foreign document(s) and confirming whether a reseal is possible;
  • Liaising with foreign jurisdictions;
  • Preparing the application to reseal the foreign documents, inheritance tax form and liaising with HMRC, where relevant;
  • Submitting the application to the probate registry on behalf of the personal representatives;
  • Checking the re-sealed document;
  • Collecting in the English and Welsh assets; and
  • Distributing the assets to the personal representatives
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