Features of inheritance under English law





inheritance, will, probate, executor, English law.


Background. The long history of the formation and operation of English law, its impact on the development of social and economic relations in many countries, as well as the widespread practice of choosing a place to settle contractual disputes in London, the desire of many people to buy real estate in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to obtain the nationality of that country demonstrates the importance and practical value of exploring the features of the process of inheritance under English law, since inheritance issues, both with and without a foreign element, may be borne by foreigners or citizens of the United Kingdom, many unpleasant surprises.
Analysis of recent research and publications. The works of M. Bondareva, V. Vasilyeva, E. Fursa and others are devoted to the problems of the inheritance in the countries of the Anglo-American legal system or the comparative aspects of inheritance with a foreign element.
The aim of the article is a theoretical and legal analysis of the particularities of the inheritance procedure in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
Materials and methodsThe regulatory framework for the study is the laws of the United Kingdom (Probate and Legacy Duties Act 1808, Inheritance Act 1833, Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependents) Act 1975, Inheritance Tax Act 1984, Inheritance and Trustees 'Powers Act 2014) and information is provided on the country’s official government website. The methodological basis of the study was general scientific and special legal methods of cognition.
Results. The process of inheritance in the United Kingdom begins with the need to obtain a court’s endorsement of a will or to obtain special authority (permission) to manage a deceased person’s property in the absence thereof. Unlike in Ukraine, where notaries certify wills and then conduct a succession, in the United Kingdom a person has to go to court. An application for a legal right to dispose of one’s property, money, real estate after the death of a person is called an application for probate by a court (applying for probate). If a person leaves a will, in this case you need to receive a «grant of probate». In the absence of a will, it is necessary to go to court to obtain the authority (permission) to manage the property of the deceased person (letters of administration).
A feature of inheritance in the countries of the Anglo-American legal system is the inheritance of debt-exempt property. As noted above, only after the payment of all the debts of the testator, the executor of the will can distribute the property between the heirs according to the will of the testator. The same rule applies in the absence of a will.
Conclusion. Summarizing the foregoing, it should be emphasized that the inheritance in the United Kingdom has its own characteristics to be aware of who ownsthe property, plans to acquire citizenship or invest in certain projects. There aredifferences in the process of inheritance in England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Also, in contrast to Ukraine, where a notary is a successor, in the United Kingdom,you must go to court to obtain a grant of probate and determine the executors of the will in the United Kingdom, and in the absence of a will, go to court for authorization (permits) to administer the estate of the deceased person (letters of administration) and the appointment by the court of the person of the «administrator» (the administrator), who will distribute the hereditary property in accordance with the law.
It should also be noted the privileged position of the second spouse in the case of officially registered marriage (this applies to same-sex marriage), which can receive all property without paying inheritance tax.

Author Biography

Hanna ILCHENKO, Kyiv National University of Trade and Economics

Candidate of  Juridical Sciences, Associate Professor
at the Department of  International Private, Commercial and Civil  Law


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Probate and Legacy Duties Act 1808. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/Geo3/48/149/contents [in English].

Inheritance Act 1833. (n.d.). legislation.gov.uk. Retrieved from http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/Will4/3-4/106 [in English].

Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975. (n.d.). legislation.gov.uk. Retrieved from http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1975/63/contents [in English].

Inheritance Tax Act 1984. (n.d.). legislation.gov.uk. Retrieved from http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1984/51/contents [in English].

Inheritance and Trustees' Powers Act 2014. (n.d.). legislation.gov.uk. Retrieved from http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2014/16 [in English].

Dealing With a Deceased’s Estate in Scotland. (n.d.). scotcourts.gov.uk. Retrieved from https://www.scotcourts.gov.uk/taking-action/dealing-with-a-deceased%27s-estate-in-scotland [in English].

Applying for probate. (n.d.). nidirect.gov.uk. Retrieved from https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/applying-probate [in English].

Intestacy – who inherits if someone dies without a will? (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.gov.uk/inherits-someone-dies-without-will [in English].

Valuing the estate of someone who's died. (n.d.). gov.uk. Retrieved from https://www.gov.uk/valuing-estate-of-someone-who-died/estimate-estate-value [in English].

Applying for probate. (n.d.). gov.uk. Retrieved from https://www.gov.uk/applying-for-probate/apply-for-probate [in English].

When to use a probate solicitor or specialist. (n.d.). moneyadviceservice.org.uk. Retrieved from https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/articles/when-to-use-a-probate-specialist [in English].

Place a Deceased Estates notice. (n.d.). thegazette.co.uk. Retrieved from https://www.thegazette.co.uk/wills-and-probate/place-a-deceased-estates-notice [in English].



How to Cite

ILCHENKO Г. (2020). Features of inheritance under English law. oreign rade: conomics, inance, aw, 108(1), 54–62. https://doi.org/10.31617/zt.knute.2020(108)06