UK Estate with Property in Barbados


Can anyone assist in relation to an estate which has a property in Barbados?

The deceased left a UK Will which has no geographical restrictions and therefore covers their worldwide assets.

Lawyers in Barbados have confirmed that the UK Will will determine the distribution of the Barbados property and that we will need to have the Grant of Probate resealed in Barbados to deal with this. However, we are being told by another party that if the spouse is not happy with the entitlement they are due to receive under the Will, they can claim for a greater share of the property under the Succession Act, Chapter 249 of the Laws of Barbados.

Does anyone have any experience of this and if the spouse can make a claim under the Succession Act, does anybody know on what basis this can be made?

Thank you in anticipation.

Lucy Cox
Wilkes Partnership Solicitors.

Hi Lucy,

I have not had a Barbados case, the law is usually lex situs for immovable property - regardless of the UK will, the property would devolve under the law where it’s situated.

I’d question the former and suggest the later is correct. Here the spouse can be non-dom and claim under I(PFD)A 1975.

The spouse would need to engage legal advice in Barbados. As would be the case here if the roles where reversed.


I agree with Richard as regards the lex situs issue. I am not a Barbadian lawyer, but Sections 36 and 92 - 101 under the Act appear to be the appropriate Sections, and if there are minor or disabled children the spouse gets 1/4 of the estate, and if there are no such children, then the Spouse gets 1/2 of the estate.

You should note that the Sections apply only to a deceased dying domiciled in Barbados, and the spouse has to make an election within 6 months of the date of the Grant or of notice being given to her (there is confusion between the Sections as to the 6 month period - is it from the time notice of such election must be made or from the date of the Grant?). I suspect that in practice this will mean from the date the English Grant is resealed in Barbados (we do not know if the deceased was domiciled in Barbados). In the circumstances I advise that Barbadan legal advice be obtained, but at least the above is a start.

Yours sincerely,
Peter Double / Probate Resealing Services