Resealing a grant of probate
Resealing a grant of probate is a requirement for estates that include assets of a foreign jurisdiction. When a person is domiciled abroad and has assets in the UK, for example a property, the problem arises as to how to deal with the UK assets when they pass away.
It is often the case that the grant of probate issued by the court local to where the deceased passed away will not be recognised here in the UK.
In order to deal with these assets, one possibility would be to obtain another grant of probate in the UK to deal with English assets. However, this may be a complex and time-consuming business.
The alternative is resealing the grant of probate issued by the foreign court here in the UK. This is usually a fast and efficient way to obtain a local probate document which will can then be used by the executor to deal with assets in England.
Current and former Commonwealth countries have similar common law legal systems to those in the UK and many of these countries have arrangements where a grant of probate issued locally can be resealed in the UK. The Colonial Probates Acts of 1892 and 1927 list the countries to which the option of resealing applies. Colonial Probates Act Application Order 1965.
Although resealing is commonly associated with the United Kingdom or the British Isles, it is worth noting that resealing a grant of probate is only possible in England and Wales. It is not possible to reseal in Scotland, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Jersey, Guernsey or the Isle of Man.
To apply to reseal a grant of probate in the UK the executor/administrator or beneficiary will need the local probate document and the Will, or a court certified copy, and 2 photocopies. They will need to complete the appropriate IHT return and pay an application fee of £155.00. It should be noted all documentation must be in English. If the grant is in a foreign language a court-certified translation will therefore be needed.