Client Story

International estate complexities resolved thanks to private client lawyer

20th April 2022

When a man died leaving an international estate but only a single copy of his will, Alexandra Svennevik was contacted by his children to provide guidance. The estate spanned several continents, adding complexities to inheritance tax considerations and applicable laws.

Alexandra and the private client team first determined where his domicile – permanent home – was in order to apply the right law and tax regime to the estate. The will then had to be assessed: it was homemade, and the original had been lost. As only a copy remained, it was necessary to prove its validity, and that the original had not been intentionally destroyed, requiring appropriate affidavits to be prepared.

Alexandra applied for a grant of probate and dealt with HRMC, including claiming business property relief of nearly £10,000 worth of foreign shareholdings. The assets were then distributed to the beneficiaries.

The work undertaken by Alexandra and the team ensured that assets in multiple countries could be distributed to the intended beneficiaries. Thanks to the expertise provided, the family didn’t have to worry about paperwork and were safe in the knowledge that the correct amount of tax would be claimed, as well as correct documentation used in each jurisdiction.

Alexandra said: “Cross-border estates always have their challenges, and this was no exception. Once we had established that the law of England and Wales was applicable, it was important to ensure that we made full use of the tax reliefs available. I was delighted to support the family to resolve the administration of this complex estate.”

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