Q&As

For a specific legacy of foreign property in an English Will covering worldwide assets, are any costs, expenses, rents and profits the responsibility of or owed to the specific legatee?

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Published on LexisPSL on 24/12/2020

The following Wills & Probate Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • For a specific legacy of foreign property in an English Will covering worldwide assets, are any costs, expenses, rents and profits the responsibility of or owed to the specific legatee?
  • Burden of costs and expenses on a specific legacy of foreign property
  • Tax and foreign death duties
  • Other costs and expenses
  • Benefit of profits/income on foreign property
  • Payment of income to non-UK resident specific legatee

For a specific legacy of foreign property in an English Will covering worldwide assets, are any costs, expenses, rents and profits the responsibility of or owed to the specific legatee?

Burden of costs and expenses on a specific legacy of foreign property

Tax and foreign death duties

Inheritance tax attributable to the value of unsettled property outside the UK is not a testamentary expense unless indicated in the Will, although following Re Goetze, it seems reasonably clear that a direction to pay testamentary expenses out of residue is likely to extend to any foreign tax or duties (unless the foreign tax exceeds the UK tax). For further guidance, see Commentary: Free foreign estate: Foster's Inheritance Tax [K2.02]. However, see also the commentary below regarding the burden of duties depending on whether the executor gets in the bequest or not.

Other costs and expenses

In relation to property situated in England and Wales, unless the testator has provided otherwise in their Will, any expense incurred by the executors in the upkeep, care and preservation of property specifically devised or bequeathed, such as storage charges, insurance, and the costs of transporting the asset to the beneficiary, as between the testator's death and the transfer of the property, must be borne by the beneficiary. See Commentary: Specific gifts: Butterworths Wills Probate and Administration Service [2.122].

Where a specific bequest is in a country outside England and

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