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Will Writing, an Important Part of Expat Financial Planning

Inheritance Tax

If you have a sizeable estate this increases the possibility of it incurring significant inheritance tax, potentially across more than one jurisdiction.

If you have only one Will you need to ask your expat financial adviser whether it adequately addresses the tax issues at the heart of each jurisdiction or whether there is another way to mitigate liability in a way that is in the interests of your heirs and other beneficiaries.

Common or civil law?

The UK is a common law country whereas most others in the EU are civil law jurisdictions. This may have some impact on whether your Will is recognised in all the countries in which your assets are held.

EU Succession Regulation

EU Succession Regulation (EU 650/2012) (“the Regulation”), also known as Brussels IV, was introduced to unify succession laws across EU member states. It allows expats residing in the EU to elect the law of their country of origin rather than that of their country of residence.

This is particularly important in countries such as Spain and Portugal which have ‘forced heirship’ rules in place dictating that on death you must hand on your assets in certain ways—i.e. along traditional bloodlines.

This can help create clarity with regard to cross-border inheritances as it standardises succession law across the EU, reducing costs and reducing the potential for delays and contention during the probate process.

Although the UK opted out of the regulation, UK nationals living in the EU can still opt to have UK succession law apply on death.

Advice from Blacktower Financial Management

Are your assets recognised as “movable”, should you have one Will or more and should you use the EU Succession Regulation to nominate your country of nationality for inheritance and probate?

At Blacktower Financial Management our experts can help you negotiate these important questions and more. As a an expat financial services and wealth management specialist with many years of experience in numerous overseas jurisdictions, we can help you protect and grow your wealth while also working to ensure that your wishes are fully recognised and fulfilled on death. Contact us today for more information.

Other News

SPOTLIGHT ON… Rosemary Sheppard, International Financial Adviser

Rosemary SheppardThis week we put the Spotlight On…Rosemary Sheppard who is a Blacktower International Financial Adviser in France, based in the Dordogne.

Rosemary’s career in the financial services sector began in 2008 when she signed up for what she initially imagined would be a “regular 9 to 5 job” at a bank. However, in the wake of that year’s global banking crisis, Rosemary re-evaluated her professional priorities and realised that the best way she could help clients in the difficult financial climate of the time would be to climb the career ladder to a position of influence. She was further excited by working under a new set of regulations that would offer clients an unprecedented level of extra protections.

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What’s best about life in Germany and Berlin?

Brandenburg Gate, GermanyIf you’ve recently become an expat, what’s your favourite aspect of your new surroundings so far?

Britons in France may say the availability of work, expats in the Netherlands (or more specifically Amsterdam) may comment on the impressive safety and security, and many more expats around the globe are likely to appreciate the opportunity to learn a second language (and cherish the fact that they’re in the optimum position to do so).

If you were to ask British expats in Germany what they value most about their chosen country, you’re bound to get a whole host of varied answers, as stated in a recent poll carried out by The Local Germany.

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