Court sealed and certified copy of foreign Will

We recently obtained a Grant of Probate of a Swedish Will. Testator domiciled in Sweden.

The Executor requires a court sealed and certified copy of the Will to deal with Isle of Man assets and has asked us to obtain one from the Probate Registry. Given that the Probate Registry never received the original Will - they had a copy and a translation - I don’t believe they would be able to produce a court sealed/certified copy of the Will.

I would welcome views on above. I am reluctant to check with the Probate Registry given current difficulties in trying to speak to anyone there.

Samir Hussain

Hi Samir, I’m going to have a go at commenting on this, but I’d welcome other views as always.

I would say that, if HMCTS holds on file an English Grant with copy of a Swedish Will annexed, then what you can get from the Registry via the PA1S will be an official copy of whatever HMCTS has on file, sealed and certified as true copies of the documents they hold. I would assume that this should include the copy Will, as presumably it is itself described as a copy in the wording on the Grant. The issue, I think, will be that the Isle of Man, on receipt of the Grant and copy Will, may want or need something further in relation to the Swedish Will; and HMCTS won’t be able to help with that.

The Executor may need to take direction from the Manx Court, once the HMCTS documents have been submitted, on what more exactly they need; e.g. they may require something like an Affidavit of Swedish law; or something from Sweden (or indeed from the Executor) attesting to the circumstances around the original Will. But it’s best to be guided by the Manx Court on that; it will probably save time and trouble in long run.

I do hope this helps;

Louise Levene
Finders International

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Yes, Louise is right. You will be able to get a sealed and certified copy of whatever the Probate Registry has on file.

However, I would question whether this is what you really need. I doubt whether the Isle of Man would accept something from E&W if it is not the country of domicile. The next best thing is usually a notary-stamped copy (Wills not normally being lodged with courts in civil law countries). So, a notary-stamped copy of the Will from Sweden is probably what you need. As Louise says, the Isle of Man may also want further evidence of Swedish law to the effect that the Will is valid under Swedish law and that the beneficiaries are X and Y.

In short, get the IoM advisers to specify precisely what you need.

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Thank you for clarifying things.

Further to your query, the IOM courts would require a certified copy of the Will from the “host Country” / place of domicile of the deceased. (ie where the original Will is).

So if the Will was first submitted in Sweden (in your case), the IOM Registry would require the Will from there.

It cannot use a UK court sealed copy as the UK Registry is relying on the Swedish Registry and the IOM Registry cannot rely on another Registry (expect for the original starting point).

It would also require a copy of the Will and Sealed UK grant and as Louise has noted an affidavit of Law.

Additional points to note:
The courts would require a certified translation of the Will (if not in English) and also any IOM application requires an IOM address for service of the document.

Patrick Swanney TEP
MannBenham Advocates Isle of Man .
Address: |49 Victoria Street | Douglas | Isle of Man | IM1 2LD|
Reception: |+44 (0)1624 639350|
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