The following Wills & Probate guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
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 to movables is governed by the law of the deceased's domicile at the time of their death.
Intestate succession to immovables is governed by the lex situs.
At common law, a Will of movable property is valid if execution complied with the formalities required by the law of the domicile of the testator at the time of their death.
Wills of real estate made in England whether made by a British subject or a foreigner, had to be executed in accordance with English law if they were to be admitted to probate.
At common law, a Will of immovables is valid if execution complied with the requirements of the lex situs.
Whatever the domicile of the testator, in order to be accepted as valid to pass immovable estate in England and Wales, a Will had to be executed in accordance with Wills Act 1837 (WA 1837) (Pepin
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