How does Probate resealing work?
Let us take a typical case of an individual domiciled in Australia and passes away leaving his registered home and bank accounts in London. The UK land registry can not recognise the Australian letters of executorship nor will the financial institution recognise it. So what can be done? This is why resealing the probate is important. It is only through resealing the probate that the Australian executor will be able to obtain authority from the English courts to transact with the land registry and deal with the financial institution. Where can you reseal? The UK courts are authorised to reseal documents issued from any countries recognised under the Colonial Probates Act.
Who can make a reseal application?
A Reseal application made by any of the below-mentioned persons with the probate document is allowed:
- An administrator/ executor appointed by the court from the place of domicile.
- A beneficiary of the estate from the place of domicile.
- An executor named in the will.
What documents are required for a reseal?
- The original probate document (or an exemplification of the probate document, or a court sealed and certified copy) accompanied with a certified and court sealed copy of the Will, and two photocopies;
- Letter of Authority or Power of Attorney: A written request from the persons named in the grant to have the document resealed.
- A completed form IHT421 or IHT207 for taxation purposes to ensure compliance with any inheritance tax return or account requirements.
- Probate registry fee: If the value of the asset in question surpasses £5,000, then a court fee of £155 is required for resealing. However, there is no fee required when the net UK estate does not exceed £5,000. The amount payable for each official sealed copy is £1 each.
Can a Grant of Letters of Administration be sealed in England?
As long as the Grant of Letters of Administration is from any of the countries listed in the Colonial Probate Act, it is possible to have it resealed. Any other equivalent document such as a Canadian Certificate of Appointment of an Estate Trustee or a South African Letter of executorship can also be resealed in England.
Can probate be resealed for assets located anywhere in the UK?
This is dependent on the precise location of the assets within the UK. For example, are they in England, Scotland, Wales or North Ireland?
For assets located in England or Wales, the executor of the estate only needs to prove that they are mandated to deal with the assets. They, therefore, have to reseal the original Grant of Probate (or its equivalent) that was issued from the original country.
However, for assets located in Scotland, the Republic of Ireland, or Northern Ireland (or the Isle of Man, Jersey or the British Isles of Guernsey), obtaining a reseal of a foreign Grant of Probate is not possible as it can only be done in England and Wales. In this regard, a separate court order from the relevant country may be required.