Indian Man Who Lived in the UK for 12 Years is Domiciled in the UK
22nd June 2018Back to articles
Domicile is a complex and rather opaque notion, but corresponds more or less with where a person 'belongs'. How a deceased person's estate is dealt with crucially depends on where they were domiciled.
For example, the legislation which allows those financially dependent to claim support from the estate of a person who has failed to provide for them in their will only applies if the deceased person was domiciled in the UK when they died.
Cases involving domicile are seldom straightforward, as a recent High Court decision shows. It involved an Indian-born man who died in 2015. He had lived in India for more than 40 years before moving to the UK in 2002. He bought a house here and set up a business. On a trip to India in 2015 he died.
After his death, a claim was brought against his estate under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 on behalf of a five-year-old girl who was alleged to be his natural daughter and for whom no provision had been made in his will. If the man were ruled to be domiciled outside the UK at the date of his death, the claim could not proceed.
His family claimed that his trip to India was part of an intention to resettle there and an indication that his domicile of birth remained in place.
The Court disagreed. There was evidence that he had intended to return from India and his connection with the UK was such that he had established a domicile of choice here.
If you are of foreign birth or parentage, or live or own property abroad, your legal position may have unexpected complications.
Consult us for advice at any of our offices below:
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