Validity of Wills—foreign element
Validity of Wills—foreign element

The following Wills & Probate guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Validity of Wills—foreign element
  • Distinction between movables and immovables
  • Intestate succession
  • Testate succession—law before 1964
  • Testate succession—death on or after 1 January 1964
  • Will preparation
  • International Wills

Coronavirus (COVID-19): As announced on 17 April 2020, the President of the Family Division, Sir Andrew McFarlane, has authorised District Probate registrars to allow statements of truth to be used in place of affidavits for non-contentious probate applications and processes during the coronavirus pandemic. The relevant rules which are affected by the guidance are: Non-Contentious Probate Rules 1987, SI 1987/2024, rr 12(1), 16, 19, 25(2), 26, 32(2), 44(12), 46(2), 46(4), 47(4), 47(6), 48(2)(a), 50(2), 51, 52, 53, 54(3) and 55(2). The guidance is valid until 30 July 2020 but may be made permanent by statutory instrument in future. See: LNB News 17/04/2020 92. For updates on key developments and related practical guidance on the implications of coronavirus for practitioners, see: Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Private Client—overview and Coronavirus (COVID-19) toolkit.

Distinction between movables and immovables

English law makes a distinction between movable and immovable assets; succession to movables is governed by the law of domicile (lex domicili) and succession to immovables is governed by the law of the country in which they are situate (lex situs). The distinction is between realty and personalty or real property and all other property.

Intestate succession

Movables

Intestate succession to movables is governed by the law of the deceased's domicile at the time of their death.

Immovables

Intestate succession to immovables is governed by