Home > Ask Our Experts > Moving to Canada, Would My Will Cover the UK Law?

Moving to Canada, Would My Will Cover the UK Law?

By: J.A.J Aaronson - Updated: 23 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Inheritance Will Abroad Foreign Canada

Q.

Some friends are moving to Canada but will still own a property in the UK.

If they write new wills in Canada will this cover the UK property or will they still need an up to date will in the UK for UK law?

(Mrs Julie Couch, 22 December 2008)

A.

Ensuring that your will is in order should be a priority for anyone who owns property or has children. Dying intestate (that is, without having left a valid will) is likely to result in your affairs being dealt with in an unsatisfactory manner. This problem is compounded when individuals choose to move abroad, or where they hold dual citizenship.

Hague Convention

Your friends are right to consider rewriting their wills. The 1961 Hague Convention established a framework to ensure that 'public' legal documents such as wills would be admissible in countries other than that in which they were signed. However, Canada is not a signatory to the Convention, resulting in something of a grey area.

As your friends are retaining property in the UK, they are likely to be best protected if they keep their British will. Presuming the document is valid, as it has been written in the UK and signed by a British citizen, there is no reason that it should not remain as such. That said, they may wish to make alterations given their significant change in circumstances; for example, if they have children they may think about changing their instructions regarding care of any children, if this is applicable.

Canadian Will

If your friends are moving to Canada full-time, they should also ensure that they safeguard their interests in that country. This will entail writing a second will that applies to any Canadian property that they may hold. This document must be drawn up in accordance with Canadian, rather than British inheritance laws; that said, your friends will find that the two are broadly similar. If they later renounce their British citizenship in favour of Canadian passports then there may be further changes to be made. It should also be remembered that the inheritance of any property based in Canada may be dealt with under their laws.

At all stages of this process it is important that your friends seek specialist legal advice. While this will add costs to the otherwise expensive process of moving, a small investment now can save a lot of effort and worry at a later date.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Topics
Latest Comments
  • Ray Delta
    Re: Debt After Death
    My partner passed away in February 2019 leaving no estate assets or monies, she had a vehicle on a lease hire agreement with an £8,800. now owing.…
    7 July 2019
  • Geoff
    Re: Divorce and Revoking a Will
    Three years ago when my wife, now deceased, was in a nursing home I had a will written that left everything to my wife's great…
    4 July 2019
  • Tonyn
    Re: How Legally Binding is a Will?
    My wife’s mother has dementia and some of her family don’t want nothing to do with her now and no longer visit her, and they…
    10 June 2019
  • John25
    Re: How Legally Binding is a Will?
    I made the mistake of removing the staple from a will to produce a copy for a beneficiary. What are the usual consequences and…
    16 April 2019
  • Butler
    Re: Life Estates
    My father has just died and I always thought he owned his property as I found deeds etc but now have found paperwork indicating it is owned by a…
    13 November 2018
  • Sue
    Re: Life Estates
    In my mums will she expressed the wish for her partner to be a life tenant. It also states that we must allow him to move house as often as he wishes.…
    5 October 2018
  • giblet
    Re: How Legally Binding is a Will?
    My wife has just passed away and we have found a will we didn't know existed. It leaves various bits and bobs but also leaves…
    30 September 2018
  • Solly
    Re: Why Make a Will?
    I just read what I said and I meant to say if you are the witness to the signing of the will. If a person is living as if they are the…
    5 September 2018
  • Solly
    Re: Why Make a Will?
    I have read that if you are the spouse or civil partner of a beneficiary of a will, the beneficiary may not receive anything from the estate. What…
    5 September 2018
  • TheWillExpert
    Re: How Legally Binding is a Will?
    John - Your Question:Is the validity of a will only governed by the signatures of witnesses, or has it to be registered…
    8 August 2018