Our specialist estate administration and probate lawyers have a wealth of experience acting for families, executors, beneficiaries and trustees following a death. The work that we undertake is often complex, high-profile and multi-jurisdictional. From managing the entire day-to-day administration of an estate to providing strategic advice on relevant tax issues, our team offer guidance and support to ensure a family's inheritance is protected now and in the future.
Where investments and assets are held across multiple jurisdictions we work closely with foreign lawyers and advisors to ensure a seamless service. The team frequently deal with applications to the UK Probate Registry in cases where foreign individuals die owning assets in the UK, whether or not they left a valid Will.
Clients also benefit from the support of our colleagues across the firm, including our specialist Real Estate, Corporate, Art and Luxury Assets teams.
Where disputes arise we work alongside our Trust & Succession Disputes team, whose expertise extends from managing complex domestic and cross-border disputes through to coordinating international probate and trust litigation and asset tracing.
- Full management of the entire estate administration process for both domestic and international estates
- Administering international estates involving assets in multiple jurisdictions
- Dealing with all tax issues including the application of double tax treaties
- Liaising with HM Revenue & Customs to negotiate and resolve valuation issues and the availability of tax reliefs
- Obtaining grants of representation to deal with the UK assets of foreign resident and foreign domiciled individuals
- Where it is possible to do so, applying for UK recognition of a foreign grant of probate (or equivalent)
- Advising on conflicts of law between foreign forced heirship and UK succession rules including succession under Islamic law
- Ensuring tax compliance and regulatory obligations are met
- Administering the estate of a well known British film producer who left a substantial part of his estate to charity. The estate contained valuable copyrights and other intellectual property rights which required careful and expert administration.
- Acting for the executor in a complex multi-jurisdictional estate comprising a large property portfolio, private company shares and joint venture property interests, children from multiple marriages and a claim instigated against the estate by an unmarried partner with whom the deceased co-habited.
- Helping the executors to resolve a challenge over the deceased's domicile and his ongoing tax dispute, and advising on the deceased's historic undeclared tax liabilities.
- Administering the multi-jurisdictional estate of a Swiss businessman. This involved extensive negotiations with HM Revenue & Customs to agree the deceased's residence and domicile positions. Given that some beneficiaries were US taxpayers, it was necessary to seek and co-ordinate US tax advice with the wider UK tax, succession and trust issues. This was done while simultaneously advising on a possible initial public offering of one of the companies in which the estate had a major holding.
- Advising on the numerous tax and administration issues arising as a result of the deceased putting in place a home loan/double trust scheme in 2003, such schemes still being the subject of a longstanding challenge by HM Revenue & Customs.