Writing a Will is the best way to decide exactly what will happen to your assets after you die. It’s important though to remember that you can determine what happens not just with your assets in the UK, but international assets too.
It’s no longer unusual for people to own assets in more than one country. For example, around 200,000 Brits own property in France alone. Accounting for these international assets properly when writing a Will is incredibly important, but the process can be rather complicated.
There are cross-border inheritance and tax issues to consider. Britain is unusual in that you can decide exactly who inherits your property. However in certain European nations there are more restrictive ‘forced heirship’ rules which dictate precisely who can inherit. Until a couple of years ago, these rules applied to Brits who own property in these nations, though these restrictions have since been loosened.
It may be that you need to have separate Wills in each country in which you own assets, as well as a main Will in the country in which you live, in order to control what happens after you die.
Most countries require probate before the selling or transfer of any foreign assets. This process can be complicated, yet it is still preferable to dying without a Will in place, in which case your loved ones will have to deal with foreign intestacy. This can be enormously expensive, stressful and time consuming.
Why You Should be Factoring Overseas Assets into Your Will
The world is getting smaller all the time with an increasing number of our clients owning assets in other countries, whether that’s property or investments. Seeking the right advice is therefore imperitive. This ensures the right testamentary provisions have been made to administer those foreign assets.
No-one wants to think about what happens after they die, but failing to leave a Will could leave your loved ones with enormous task. And this is particularly true if they are having to deal with foreign assets as well as domestic ones.
To discuss matters further please contact us.