Client Story

International estate complications made clear thanks to private client lawyer

8th April 2022

When a young woman died abroad, her family turned to HCR Hewitsons’ Hauke Harrack for help with the administration of her estate.

The estate was complex, with far-reaching assets spanning multiple jurisdictions. The estate comprised bank accounts and property in the UK, USA and Caribbean. The family also needed access to digital assets including email and online accounts.

Hauke provided clear, easy to understand advice along with technical expertise to clarify where the young woman officially lived. This allowed them to determine the right law and tax regime for the estate.

The estate administration undertaken by Hauke at the time included liaising with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the firm’s in-house notary public to ensure that the English grant of probate would be accepted in the USA.

A detailed legal opinion was also provided to prove the validity of the deceased’s will in England and Wales, the probate process and the beneficiary’s entitlement to inherit under English law.

Throughout this difficult period, the family of the deceased were supported by HCR’s private client team, who helped to relieve the stress and burden of legal paperwork by preparing all forms required, obtaining tax clearances and liaising with foreign organisations to find solutions. A clear path was forged to overcome the hurdles faced by the family, allowing the estate to be passed to the intended beneficiary.

Hauke said: “It’s always a difficult time when a family member dies. This was a particularly challenging estate because of the international aspects. I was pleased to provide a successful resolution to the issues involved so this young woman’s wishes could be honoured and allow the family to move forward.”

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