Re-sealing Grants of Probate

Our Private Client Solicitors are specialists in dealing with Probate and we aim to offer an economic, personal and compassionate service to our clients.

More than 100,000 Brits move permanently abroad each year, with many upping sticks in search of warmer climates and an escape from the hustle and bustle of life in our grey and crowded cities. Many expats sell up and cash in before making the move, often because this is necessary to finance their new lifestyle. However, many decide to retain some property, investments or accounts in England.

The problem is that many fail to consider what would happen to their English assets after their death. Even if they have made a valid Will clearly stating how their estate is to pass, the process of collecting and distributing these assets is not as straightforward as they may think.

A Grant of Probate is required in England and Wales before the assets of the deceased can be collected and distributed to the beneficiaries of a Will. Usually, when an expat holds assets in their new country of residence and in their country of origin, it will be necessary for a Grant of Probate (or their foreign equivalent) to be obtained in both countries where assets are located. For example, an expat living in Spain will require a Grant of Probate to administer their English estate and a Spanish Deed of Inheritance to administer their Spanish estate. This two-pronged process can be lengthy and time-consuming.

The good news is that for expats living in most Commonwealth countries, the process is simplified because the English estate may be administered without the need for an extra grant. Under the Colonial Probates Act 1892, an application can be made to the Probate Registry for a foreign grant to be re-sealed. Happily, re-sealing is not an intricate legal term – it simply involves the placing of a new seal on an original foreign grant of probate. This gives the grant the same effect it would have had it been granted in England or Wales.

Countries that fall under this Act include Antigua, large parts of Australia, Barbados, New Zealand, Jamaica, Cyprus and Hong Kong. Given that Australia and New Zealand are the most common destinations for Brits moving abroad, the potential benefit of the Act should not be understated.

Whilst re-sealing expedites the process of administering the estate, it is wise to instruct a professional as the procedure is not always simple, particularly when the estate is subject to inheritance tax in the UK. Our experienced team of specialists are able to advise you on whether a Grant of Probate can be re-sealed and assist you through the procedure.


Quick links

Sign up

Enter your email address for legal updates on Private Client & Family Law.

Please see our privacy policy regarding use of your data.

Virtual Weekend Wills Clinic

We are dedicating a weekend to you and your will. Often our lifestyles don’t allow for a midweek appointment and then, along comes the weekend and you can’t always speak to a professional. So we are making ourselves available to talk to you, free of charge, for 15...

Pitfalls of DIY Wills

This is the first of three articles designed to highlight the Pitfalls of DIY Wills, Lasting Powers of Attorney and Probate.  Please keep an eye out for further articles being posted over the coming weeks. As a Private Client lawyer who specialises in wills, I am...

Inheritance Tax Planning: Should we be planning now?

When eventually we come out of lockdown and the after-effects of COVID19 on our economy, and in particular on public finances, start to be fully addressed there seems little doubt that the government is going to have to find ways to collect more tax.  The most obvious...

Inheritance Tax Planning: Gifts out of income

You may well be aware that you can give away £3,000 in any tax year with no IHT consequences. Many people do this, some every year and others year by year as their financial position permits. Far fewer people are aware of another exemption that can be very useful in...

Inheritance Tax Planning: Top 10 Tips

Life Policies / Pensions / Death in Service BenefitsTake time to review your policies and options as there is potential to pass them to beneficiaries outside of your estate. Use allowances if you have excess fundsYou do have individual allowances available to make...

Inheritance Tax Planning: Making gifts in your lifetime

You may have come to a point in your life where you have amassed a large amount of capital and have more than you reasonably need to live off. If you are considering how you can give away your excess wealth effectively, there are a number of factors to consider....

Inheritance Tax Planning: Residence Nil Rate Band

The ‘new’ inheritance relief, known as the “residence nil rate band,” was first introduced by the Conservative Government back in 2015.  What is it? The Residence Nil Rate Band (“RNRB”) is an additional inheritance tax ‘free’ allowance that can be claimed, on top of...

Appointing a solicitor to deal with probate

Unfortunately, we are all now experiencing the effects of Coronavirus spreading throughout the country. It is becoming increasingly more likely that someone will care about will contract the disease and in some cases this will result in their death.  Dealing with a...

Inheritance Tax planning – minimising liability

Inheritance Tax (IHT) can run into hundreds of thousands of pounds when you die. By undertaking tax planning in your lifetime, you could potentially significantly reduce the amount of IHT payable on your death and in some cases could pay no IHT at all.  By way of...

What is a declaration of ownership?

A Declaration of Ownership (also known as a “Declaration of Trust”) is a legal document commonly used to set out the interests of individual parties where an asset is held in joint names with others. When a couple, for example, purchase their home, they may decide to...

Grants of Probate: FAQs

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions on Re-sealing Grants of Probate…

Related services

Private Client Team

  • All departments
  • Agricultural Law
  • Banking and Finance
  • Brexit
  • Business Disputes
  • Commercial Law
  • Competition Law
  • Construction
  • Construction disputes
  • Consumer Law
  • Corporate - MBOs & MBIs
  • Corporate Governance
  • Corporate Law
  • Corporate lending
  • Data, IT & Technology
  • Debt Recovery
  • Disputes - Declarations of trust
  • Disputes - Land and Property
  • Disputes - Probate and inheritance
  • Disputes - Professional negligence
  • Disputes - Restrictive Covenants
  • Disputes - Shareholders & Partnership
  • Disputes - Tenants in Residential Property
  • Disputes - Wills, trusts & probate disputes
  • Disputes and Small Claims
  • Disputes with Co-owners
  • Divorce
  • Employee - Termination
  • Employer - Termination
  • Employment
  • Employment - Business protection
  • Employment - Collective consultations
  • Employment - Contracts, services, consultancy
  • Employment - Employee benefits
  • Employment - Employee Procedures
  • Employment - Equality, discrimination and harassment
  • Employment - Family Friendly Rights
  • Employment - GDPR and Data Protection
  • Employment - Post employment obligations
  • Employment - Redundancy & Reorganisation
  • Employment - Settlement Agreements
  • Employment - Tribunal Claims
  • Employment - TUPE
  • Employment - Wages, holiday and sick pay
  • Employment - Workers rights
  • Employment Tribunal claims
  • Estate Administration
  • Expat Legal Services
  • Family Law
  • Financial Services
  • GDPR
  • Immigration law
  • Intellectual Property
  • International Legal Services
  • Lasting Powers of Attorney
  • Leasehold
  • Licensing Law
  • Money, Tax and Inheritance
  • New Businsess
  • Property Law
  • Recovery & Insolvency
  • Regulatory, Compliance & Competition
  • Residential Property - Completions
  • Residential Property - Conveyancing
  • Residential Property - Shared Ownership
  • Residential Property – Help to Buy
  • Residential Property – New Build
  • Wills, Trusts and Probate

Latest news & insights

Pitfalls of DIY Wills

Pitfalls of DIY Wills

This is the first of three articles designed to highlight the Pitfalls of DIY Wills, Lasting Powers of Attorney and Probate.

read more

Our pricing guides

Our pricing guides are for standard services and may be subject to increases where an individual case requires non-standard services. All prices are in Sterling (£) and VAT will be charged on top of the price at the applicable rate.

Price estimates for all other services are calculated once we know more about your individual case.  Contact us for more information.


60 St Martins Lane, Covent Garden, London, WC2N 4JS 

+44 (0) 203 755 0557


Building 2  Watchmoor Park, Riverside Way, Camberley, Surrey. GU15 3YL

+44 (0)1276 686 222


Opening Soon

+44 (0)118 977 4045

© 2020 Herrington Carmichael LLP. Registered in England and Wales company number OC322293.

Herrington Carmichael LLP is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

Privacy   |   Terms and Conditions   |   Cookies   |   Client Feedback