Many people making a Will
may assume that their Will, validly made in South Australia is
going to be effective to dispose of overseas assets they may
That assumption might be incorrect depending on where the overseas
assets are held. To make certain the overseas assets can be
adequately dealt with by a local Will care must be taken to ensure
foreign laws are complied with.
It may be wise or necessary for a separate Will to be made within
the jurisdiction where the asset is held, such Will only dealing
with that asset.
If that were to occur there would be two concurrent Wills; one to
deal specifically with an overseas asset (made within that
jurisdiction) and the other to generally deal with the estate of
There is high danger with having concurrent Wills. There may be an
unintentional revocation of an earlier Will. Wills are
generally expressed to revoke all earlier testamentary
documents. If an overseas (later) Will is also expressed to
revoke all earlier Wills it may have the effect of replacing the
local Will which may have undesirable outcomes.
Each concurrent Will must be drawn to expressly recognise the
existence of the other and to preserve its operation and
So what about Wills made overseas.
Generally speaking, a Will made overseas that is valid according to
the laws of the country where it was drafted, will be acceptable in
South Australia (even if it is not strictly valid according to our
In those circumstances it may be necessary to obtain a 're-seal' of
the grant of probate obtained overseas. This simply means
that the foreign grant can be recognised locally.
If the deceased died in a Commonwealth Country this is usually a
straight forward procedure however if they died in a non-English
speaking country some difficulties will naturally arise.
So can you have "one Will to rule them all"? Not
necessarily. To check the status of your Will in relation to any overseas assets you
own, why not have a chat with our Senior Associate Greg Welden about where you stand.
Please note, this Blog is posted in Adelaide, South Australia.
It relates to South Australian legislation.