I wonder whether the Panama papers revelation will ultimately have any beneficial effects. At present in the probate world, offshore assets can add to the time spent in obtaining a grant of probate. There can be problems communicating with the offshore entity and very often that entity will refuse to provide any information until an actual grant has been obtained. We therefore have to use estimated figures and then deal with any necessary adjustments for inheritance tax after the grant has been obtained.
Very often it will be necessary to obtain a grant of probate or similar document in the jurisdiction where the particular asset is based. For example, the Isle of Man often features in quite ordinary estates – a deceased may have had an Isle of Man bank account or used an Isle of Man investment vehicle. The current probate fee charged by the Isle of Man Government is £1875 for an estate value of between £250,000 and £500,000. This can come as quite a surprise to the beneficiaries.
So in the long term there could be a number of unexpected advantages if offshore assets fall out of favour.