News & Insights

QROPS works for expats in France

Given all the talk and acceptance of QROPS transfers, expats in France could be forgiven for forgetting that there was ever a time when they were short of options.

But it’s worth remembering that before QROPS transfers became available, expats in France and elsewhere in Europe had very few choices available to them when it came to deciding what to do with their UK-based pensions. For many it was a horrible and disempowering situation that, in some cases, resulted in poor decisions and traumatic financial losses.

Fortunately, the introduction of new laws has addressed this fraught area of the law, and the willingness of the government to incorporate QROPS transfer pensions within the remit of HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has produced a win-win situation for all interested parties, particularly those who benefit from the tax-efficiency of QROPS. QROPS has changed everything.

But the benefits are not only about tax efficiency. QROPS can be based in jurisdictions which allow far greater flexibility than similar pension plans in the UK. For example, savers can retain real control of their pension assets, including the ability to pass them on to family at the time of death. They also benefit from greater currency control and significant structural flexibility.

For those who remember the darker pre-QROPS days, it should be a thing of wonder that they are now able to have such autonomy when it comes to wealth management, succession and estate planning. There really are very few vehicles that have been so successful in helping hard working people ensure the smooth transition of wealth to loved ones and dependants.

However, it is worth remembering that all products are suitable for all people and, depending on your circumstances, there may be additional or supplementary wealth management strategies that are more suited to your needs. Speaking with an experienced international financial advisor with a track record in retirement planning and QROPS is likely to be critical.

Other News

Residence or domicile? That is the question

One of the most frequently-asked questions asked by many of the 300,000 Expats living here in Spain is ‘am I resident or domicile?’ It is a good question, and one worth finding the answer to, as your residential status when living abroad affects the way in which you pay tax and how much you pay. 

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New Spanish Will Laws from 17th of August

Blacktower Financial Management

Many of our clients will have beside their property and / or bank accounts here in Spain still assets abroad.  This could be a property in the “home” country, a share portfolio in Luxembourg, an offshore bank account etc.

Most would have a Will covering these assets in their home country and without specific mention of the asset will have laid out their wishes in the form of for example “spouse to spouse on first death and on second death to the children” which would apply to all their assets.  

Should the person have not bothered taking on a Spanish Will then the heirs would have to go through the extra work and costs involved in relying on a UK or foreign will for the disposal of the Spanish assets.  The Will would have to be translated and apostiled adding delays and extra costs at a difficult time for the heirs.

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