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Buachaill
Buachaill, Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10276
Experience:  Barrister 17 years experience
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I am an executor of a Will that was made in the UK that covers

Resolved Question:

I am an executor of a Will that was made in the UK that covers a property in the UK.
The deceased was married to a German woman (they got married in the UK) - prior to making the will.
In Germany however when someone dies the spouse gets half of the deceased estate.

Does this cover ALL of the estate including the value of the house? or as the house value is to be distributed between named individuals is this excluded?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Buachaill replied 2 years ago.

Buachaill :

1. The key issue is where the deceased was domiciled at the time of death, as this law determines what happens to the estate. So if you can tell me where the deceased was domiciled at the time of death, I will explain the legal situation. You might also fill in more detail, such as what was the value of the estate and where were the assets located? Was the deceased still married at the date of death?

Customer:

He resided in both UK and Germany. He did spend more time in Germany though. He was still married at the time of death. The wife did however, go with him when he had the Will written, so she knew that the house was bequeathed in the Will. The assets are split between UK and Germany. The House is in the UK, but other property such as sports car etc are in Germany. Value of estate is about £155,000 - the house is the bulk of this being £120,000.

Buachaill :

2. It is difficult to determine whether the deceased was domiciled in the UK or Germany from this information. Domicile connotes an extensive connection with a country. However, a person does not loose their domicile of origin - here the UK - UNLESS, they manifest a desire to do so. given the deceased divided his time between the UK and Germany, he may be taken to have retained his domicile of origin in the UK. So the deceased died domiciled in the UK with the result that UK law governs the administration of his estate. This means that the German rule that the wife gets half the estate does not apply. Accordingly, his German wife only takes to the extent to which English law allows her and to the extent allowed in the will.

Buachaill :

3. The one thing I am unclear about, as you haven't stated it, is what were the terms of the will in relation to the house? You haven't stated this although you have averted to it.

Buachaill :

4. Be aware that there will be no UK Inheritance tax payable as the estate is under the £325,000 exemption threshold.

Customer:

Even though he lived in Germany he always classed the UK as his home - kept UK citizenship etc.

Customer:

The will states that the house and contents should be sold and divided between his nephews and niece

Buachaill :

5. If he classed the UK as his home, then he died domiciled in the UK as he never lost his domicile of origin. So his will applies. Under English law, there is no automatic provision for the wife, even though he died married. Accordingly, the terms of his will govern which means that the house and contents should be sold and divided between his nephews & nieces. The provisions of German law, which require half to go to the wife do not apply.

Customer:

Thank you

Customer:

How do you prove that he died a domicile of the though now that he has died?

Customer:

How do you prove that he died a domicile of the UK though now that he has died?

Buachaill :

6. The executor - which is you - decides where the deceased died. There is only a need to prove where the deceased domiciled if there is a legal row about it. Then evidence will be given by the interested parties, including the executor. Then you will simply refer to the deceased's pattern of living and attitude towards where he was domiciled. Finally, be aware that under the 1975 Inheritance (Provision for Family & Dependents) Act, there is provision made for the wife to make application to court for some share, should inadequate provision have been made for her needs. So, for example, if the wife was in dire straits financially, a court might make an order in her favour. However, regard will be had to her own assets.

Customer:

thank you for this

Buachaill, Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10276
Experience: Barrister 17 years experience
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