Legatee residing abroad with no bank account

Hi all

I am dealing with an estate where I have a £10k legacy to pay. The beneficiary has been traced and lives in Spain. She is British but has no bank account here or in Spain. She appears to live a no fixed abode way of life.

I need to pay the legacy but obviously not to a third party and struggling with international money orders as you cannot use a business account.

Has anyone had experience of this before and can offer advice/a possible solution?

Any help very gratefully received.


Can you not pay it to a third party such as a relation at the express written direction of the legatee?

Andrew Goodman
Osborne Clarke LLP

Think organisations such as the Post Office to international money transfers but I suppose the issue from your side is identification etc. Does she have a valid passport or evidence of DWP payments etc? Might be worth a try?

Kathy Melkerts
Melkerts Solicitors.

Have you considered arranging to pay the monies to a Spanish notary (or maybe a consular official) who would be amenable to releasing the payment to the beneficiary upon proof of identity?

Paul Saunders FCIB TEP

Independent Trust Consultant

Providing support and advice to fellow professionals

Perhaps it is for the beneficiary to investigate the opening of a bank account in Spain if that is where she continues to reside. Indeed following Brexit does she not have an application to register to become a permanent resident there if that is what she wants to do. I feel that until you have clear instructions from the beneficiary regarding payment, you must continue to hold the funds, initially to the order of the personal representative who after all is the one who is responsible for carrying out the terms of the will.

Patrick Moroney

I wonder if there may be some mileage in liaising with a Spanish Estates practitioner. The obvious challenge if, to my mind, in the beneficiary giving legal receipt for the legacy. That she does not have a bank account is of secondary concern - a cheque / crossed warrant which could be cashed in may be acceptable to her? However, as Patrick has observed, although this may be an incentive to open a bank account this may not be what she wishes to do, for whatever reason.

The final position may be to consider paying funds in to Court for her to claim, at her leisure, although probably a last resort…?

Hi Anna,

Western Union for cash pick up? The service is offered direct or by post office.
ID is usually a passport, which we’d assume they have. - you’d need to send the transfer details.
Can be restrictions on the amounts sent - you could send in several orders.

Richard Bishop