Affidavit of foreign law required for probate

If a person who is domiciled outside of the UK dies owning assets in the UK, the probate registry will usually ask for an affidavit of foreign law (also know as declaration of heirs, certificate of heirs or certificate of law) before issuing the Grant of Probate/ Grant of Letters of administration to the executors or administrators of the estate.

What is an affidavit of foreign law?

An affidavit of foreign law (also known as an affidavit of law or evidence of law) in the context of an inheritance, is a sworn statement clarifying the laws of the country where the deceased was domiciled. It must be prepared by a suitably qualified/ experienced lawyer familiar with the laws of the country where the deceased was domiciled or by a notary practicing in the country of the deceased’s domicile.

The affidavit of law should set out the relevant inheritance law of the place of domicile in relation to the succession/ distribution of the assets, and who is entitled to apply for the Grant of Representation. 

Why is an affidavit of foreign law required?

An affidavit of foreign law is usually required in order to obtain a Grant of Probate or Grant of Letters of Administration (collectively known as a Grant of Representation) where the deceased died domiciled outside of the country where the probate application is being made.

The Probate Registry requires the affidavit of foreign law so that they can ensure that they will issue the Grant of Representation to the person entitled under the relevant laws.

An affidavit of law will not usually be required where it is possible to re-seal a Grant of Representation that has already been issued by another country.

How do I get an affidavit of law?

If you are a lawyer or personal representative of an estate where an affidavit of law is required from a foreign lawyer for an application for a grant of probate or letters of administration whether in the UK or elsewhere, Worldwide Lawyers can help.

We can put you in touch with a suitably-qualified English-speaking foreign lawyer who can provide an affidavit of law to support a probate application.

Contact us on (+44) (0)1244 470339 or at for more information and to get a quote.

We can assist with affidavits of foreign law for England, Scotland, Spain, France, Turkey, Portugal, Italy, Switzerland, Hungary, Belgium, Greece and more.. 

Author: Sara Janion, overseas legal expert, solicitor and Notary Public