International Will Writing for Expats

Why make a will?

Why make a will?

Why make a will?
A will makes it clear what should happen to your money, your property and your possessions when you die. It gives you control and options and it means that you can give your loved ones, both friends and family, opportunities after you die.… read more
What every parent needs to know

What every parent needs to know

Parents - who will care for your children?
If you have children, you will probably want them to inherit your estate when you and your spouse or partner die. You will probably want to ensure that they are properly looked after in the tragic event that you die before they reach the age of 18. You may also want your step-children to inherit your estate when you die. To ensure that your wishes are carried out when you die you should make a will. By making a will you also have the opportunity to appoint guardians to look after your children in the event that you die before they reach the age of 18. Guardians are responsible for the day to day care of children and are responsible for deciding how children are brought up, looked after and educated. They may also be responsible for taking care of the finances of a child until they reach the age of 18. If you have children and you fail to appoint a guardian to look after them in the event that you die before they reach the age of 18 and if no one else has parental control of your children, the Court will appoint guardians for you. It could take several months for the Court to appoint a guardian and in the intervening period your children could be taken into care. A Court appointed guardian will not necessarily be the person you would have preferred to look after your children. If you are living as an expat and are a long way from friends and family, this situation could be exacerbated if there is not a social care system in place to care for your children whilst the law decides on the future of your children.  Contact Wills World Wide for assistance in ensuring that your children's future is secure in the event of the unthinkable.… read more
Do I need a will in every country I have connections too?

Do I need a will in every country I have connections too?

Do I need a will in every country I have connections too?
If you are an expatriate, cross-border issues will almost certainly complicate your inheritance arrangements. It is important to know that in many countries it is difficult or impossible to supersede the laws of succession, in particular those that relate to forced heir ship. These laws stipulate that individuals must leave a certain fixed percentage of their estate, in particular property, to their spouse and children and they cannot be overridden by a will. If you have property (including land, homes, personal belongings, bank accounts or stocks) in a country, regardless of whether it is officially your country of domicile or residency, you should have a will which is written and executed under the law of that land to ensure that your legacy is distributed according to your wishes.  The will should deal only with each particular territory’s assets, and care should be taken that it does not revoke any other international wills. For some international families, life and employment may dictate that you move many times throughout your life.  As you accumulate assets internationally, it is important that your will and estate planning account for the geographic distribution of your assets.  Contact Wills World Wide to ensure that you succession planning reflects your international legacy.… read more
Expat Wills – As an expat, what do you need to know?

Expat Wills – As an expat, what do you need to know?

Expat Wills – As an expat, what do you need to know?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to the problem of international estates and expat wills, as each individual’s circumstances are unique and will require bespoke solutions. Probate law varies greatly from country to country. It is likely that your assets will be frozen on your death, but any debts will continue to accumulate, which can leave loved ones in difficult circumstances. That is why we would always advise seeking expert legal guidance from our network of legal professionals. After all, you work for a lifetime to amass your estate, so it makes sense to take the time to ensure as much of your legacy as possible is passed on to the people you wish to benefit from it. Here at Wills Worldwide, we have the relevant expertise as well as experience of the issues to consider when making a will and particularly those relevant to expats caught between residency and domicile in more than one jurisdiction. Wherever you are in Asia, our UK certified adviser and partners can help you make the most of the tools available to you to minimise your IHT liability and leave a lasting legacy for your loved ones. Please contact us to find out more.… read more
Nationality vs Residency

Nationality vs Residency

Nationality vs Residency
The question of nationality, domicile and residency is one which many expatriates are not clear on. An individual’s status will depend on their particular circumstances and determining them can be complex. For those countries with a death or inheritance tax, failing to realise that they remain domiciled in their home country, even if they have lived abroad for many years, can result in a large, unexpected tax bill for their beneficiaries. In some countries Inheritance tax, often also referred to as death duty, is tax paid on an estate when the owner of that estate dies. Depending on certain criteria, the tax may also be payable on gifts or trusts made during that person’s lifetime. Alternatively, the recipient of a legacy may be taxed in some territories as a result of the transfer of an asset.  Your resident and domicile status defines your tax liability. Your nationality is the country you come from, usually the issuer of your passport. Your residency is where you have made your permanent home and where you intend to remain. Your domicile is a legal concept.  Every individual has a domicile, which they originally acquire at birth; it is not necessarily the country that you were born in, or are currently living in. It is only possible to have one country of domicile at any given time. You can be domiciled in a different country from where you are resident or ordinarily resident.  It is important that you understand where you are domiciled as it can affect your tax liability, however for death tax purposes your domicile will only be determined at your death.  … read more
UK wills for expats in Asia

UK wills for expats in Asia

UK wills for expats in Asia
Asia is becoming an increasingly attractive location for many Brits to live and retire.  With a better climate, international standard schools and medical care and a huge range of opportunities, countries such as Thailand are seeing an influx of migrants from the UK.  But whilst enjoying the sunshine and decreased cost of living, you still need to plan your legacy and consider your Inheritance Tax liability. Some expatriates sever all ties, leave no assets and have no intention of returning to their original nation. For expatriates who leave the UK and obtain a new domicile, UK inheritance liability disappears on all but UK assets. It can be relatively easy to convert UK assets into non-UK assets and minimise UK inheritance tax on those as well.  It is imperative to have a separate UK law compliant will that deals only with these UK assets. But even expats who own no UK assets may still face an inheritance tax claim on their estates. Tax treaties and other international agreements contain clauses under which foreign governments are duty bound to help collect tax.  Your death abroad will be reported to the UK authorities and this may trigger an investigation into your international estate and your UK tax liability. Making your main will under the law of your country of residence will aid any case you make for domicile outside your country of birth and can be used as evidence in case of double-taxation issues. If you and your spouse or civil partner do not share the same domicile the amount of an estate which can be passed between spouses tax-free depending on whether the partners concerned are domiciled in the UK or not, and whether they are married or unmarried, is determined by Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC). Inheritance tax has been described as a tax on people who fail to plan their estate tax efficiently. With careful planning and independent advice, it is possible to legally avoid a significant amount of inheritance tax in the UK. Multi-jurisdictional estates are by their very nature complex and professional advice should be obtained in all relevant countries to ensure smooth and tax efficient succession planning.  Contact Wills World Wide today to see how we can assist.      … read more
Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.

Please check your email to confirm your subscription.

Pin It on Pinterest