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Winding Up Estates with International Elements: The Wilson & Fish Experience

An increasing number of people have assets abroad. This creates an international dimension to their estate and makes the executry process more complicated and usually delays it.

What’s Different about the International Executry Process?

When a person from outside of Scotland dies having left assets in Scotland, or where a person living in Scotland dies with assets abroad, special rules apply when obtaining confirmation.

For example, the Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration from countries outwith Scotland may need to be re-sealed by the Scottish courts in order to allow the executors to ingather the Scottish assets. The resealing process is started by applying to the Sheriff Court in Edinburgh.

Whilst most of the estates we help to wind up are based in Scotland, we have the experience and knowledge to deal with more complex circumstances, with clients in places such as the USA, Cyprus and New Zealand. Therefore, regardless of whether your loved one dies in Scotland with assets abroad, or dies abroad with assets in Scotland, Wilson & Fish can help with winding up the estate.

New Zealand Executry Services

In one case, we were contacted by a solicitor in New Zealand, whose client was believed to be owed assets after a distant relative had passed away in Scotland. We contacted the client and took instructions on the matter. With a view to establishing that our new client did have a right to claim part of the estate in Scotland, we instructed our genealogy researchers to carry out a report on the deceased’s family. Once complete, we followed up this report with enquiries of our own to ensure that there were no other entitled relatives. Moving forward we obtained a bond of caution and had the client appointed as executor, before finally being able to uplift the funds for the client.

Commenting on his international executry experience with Wilson & Fish, our client from New Zealand, said: “Thank you ….It has seemed to be a long process but you have kept me advised of the process which is refreshing. Perhaps I am now a little better aware of the legal issues associated with not having a will. Again thanks your help it has been a pleasure.”

Cyprus Executry Services

In another case, we were contacted by an individual whose aunt had died intestate (without leaving a will) in Cyprus. With his aunt living in Cyprus, Cypriot solicitors were instructed to wind up the estate, however, we were instructed to obtain confirmation and ingather the Scottish estate. This involved liaising with the Cypriot Solicitors to obtain the relevant documentation needed to establish our client’s right to the estate under Cypriot law. We also needed the documents to translate them into English and have them certified by an expert on Cypriot law. Once the certification was obtained, we were granted a bond of caution and confirmation to the estate.

Speaking on his Wilson & Fish’s involvement in winding the estate, our client stated said: "I must admit I would rather deal with Scottish Lawyers any day. You are the only company I have dealt with for many years that keeps me informed without asking. It will put my faith back in the Legal System. I wish your fellow legal colleagues from Cyprus could follow your actions."

USA Executry Services

We also have experience of winding up estates in conjunction with executors based in the United States of America (USA). For example, we were instructed in relation to the estate of a doctor who lived and died New York but had assets in Scotland and across the UK. We met with the estates executors regarding the Scottish assets and were able to with the executry process efficiently.

Need Help Winding Up Estates with Foreign Elements?

Whether your loved one dies in Scotland with assets abroad, or dies abroad with assets in Scotland, Wilson & Fish Solicitors can help you wind up the estate. To discuss any aspect of international executory work, please complete our online inquiry form.

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