When someone passes away with significant property in a foreign country, then courts in the U.S. may not have any jurisdiction over that property.
In this increasingly global world, it is no longer unusual for U.S. citizens to live in foreign countries and have property there. This can create some confusion for estates about jurisdiction over the estate and the property in it.
A recent case out of Alabama illustrates this problem as discussed by the Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog in “Case Summary on Estate Property in Foreign Jurisdiction.”
In this case, a woman from the U.S. had been living in London for a long time and passed away there. Her nephew filed to administer her estate in Alabama, where the woman appears to have been legally domiciled in the U.S. and where personal property belonging to the estate was located.
A will was also separately submitted to probate in London.
As part of the process for handling these two cases, the Alabama administrator hired solicitors in the U.K. in order to represent him in the U.K. probate case. The parties were able to settle all of the disputes, other than how the administrator should pay the British attorneys.
The administrator asked an Alabama court to order all of the beneficiaries living in Alabama to put any money they received from the London case into escrow until that could be resolved. That request was granted, but one of the beneficiaries filed for a writ of mandamus with the Alabama Supreme Court to block it. They did that and stated that the Alabama courts had no jurisdiction over the property in the London case.
These types of cases will become more frequent as more people live in foreign countries and have property there.
Reference: Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog (Dec. 9, 2016) “Case Summary on Estate Property in Foreign Jurisdiction.”
I heard Cindy’s presentation at a Senior Luncheon at my church, and was very impressed. She helped my daughter and me understand many aspects of elder law. Josh has also been very helpful in my planning to enter an independent living situation . I have told many friends about them.
The very best elder law attorney and staff anyone could ever ask for! I have referred a number of clients to Cindy and she never disappoints. She is kind, caring, and extremely thorough in making sure everything is completed as it should be. I highly recommend Cindy for anyone needing lawyer services; she truly goes above and beyond for every client she helps and has had a huge impact in so many peoples’ lives. Thank you, Cindy and staff, for everything that you do- I’m so glad to know you!
Cindy and the Nelson Elder Care Law team are trustworthy and helpful. They are the experts in elder care law. At Leaf Cremation, we entrust our families to the care of the Nelson team when their services are needed.
Josh Nelson, and his staff, have been amazingly helpful to our family. The ins and outs of nursing homes, the rules and regulations that govern Medicare and Medicaid are daunting and the folks at Nelson Elder Care Law have been informative, responsive, and above all, empathetic. I cannot emphasize enough how their service has taken a weight off of our shoulders especially during a world pandemic that has targeted nursing homes across our country. I highly recommend retaining Josh and his firm!
I had a simple legal question to them that I needed answered and they very helpful in giving me the information I needed. I highly recommend them and will reach out to them if I need more advice or assistance. Thank you for taking your time to just answer a couple of questions I had!