An essential guide to translation Services for UK Wills and Probate

last will and testament

Are you in the situation where you have a will, probate or both from the UK, but you need translation services as they are required in France? It sounds like a nightmare situation but there are some basic steps you should take which will make life much easier!

Will vs. Probate

Firstly, do you have the right documents? A will is a legal document created by a person whilst alive, detailing choices about inheritance, whereas probate is the legal process of managing an estate, that occurs when a person dies. In general, probate isn’t required if the deceased has a living spouse and joint assets, or the deceased had a very small estate. If you’re uncertain, always consult a legal expert, to ensure everything is actioned correctly.

The next step is to get the document translated and this is where expert translation services come in. It is vital to choose a translation company who is a member of the Association of Translation Companies (ATC). This is a professional organisation, where any translations completed by members, will be accepted by the government. It is the seal of approval needed for such important documents.


Another important requirement is to get the documents legalised by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) government department. Most foreign governments will ask for any UK issued documents to be legalised by the FCO. In essence, legalised means the FCO will stamp it to confirm its a genuine document. This stamped official certificate is known as an ‘apostille’. This process comes at a cost and takes time to send documents away for completion, so you should build this into your planning.

Peace of mind and guidance that expert support with legal documentation can bring will definitely be worth it

Now, you can, in theory, complete this process on your own but given the important and potentially serious nature of the documents, it is advised to ask for expert support for the process. This could be simply choosing a translation service company that will translate the documents or a company that offers support with the entire process from beginning to end. Peace of mind and guidance that expert support with legal documentation can bring, will definitely be worth it for many people.

Contact a translation service today and find out whether they have a service that can help you with your will and/or probate needs.