Case study

Estate administration across multiple jurisdictions

Gateley Legal

The international private wealth team were instructed to administer the estate of a British person who died intestate with assets and real estate in multiple jurisdictions with a total value approaching £100m.

The person entitled to the estate is a long-term resident of Spain. Spain assesses tax not on the estate of the deceased, but on the amount received by the heir. In some jurisdictions in which the deceased held assets there were, therefore, three countries claiming a right to tax the same transfer of assets from the deceased to the heir. The application of the tax treaties between the UK and each of the jurisdictions in which the deceased had owned assets was fascinating. The UK has no such treaty with Spain, which required the application of unilateral relief in this complex fact pattern. To make matters worse, the deceased had made several lifetime gifts, both in the UK and abroad, which were now brought back into assessment in the UK, making the application of each of the systems of law even more complex. This was a very unusual matter given the lack of any lifetime planning by the deceased.

How did we help?

Without fuss, we managed and consolidated the advice from the lawyers and tax professionals in each jurisdiction and acted as attorney for the client in the estate administration.

How did this benefit the client?

This made his life considerably easier during a difficult time for him personally.

Further guidance

If you, or someone you know, is dealing with a similar situation, it is essential to take advice from experienced advisers who have a track record of advising in similar situations. Working with expert advisers at this difficult time will make the process far more straightforward.

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