If you have assets in different jurisdictions it is important to consider the implications when estate planning.
Consider Issues Prior to Acquisition
You should consider the implications of owning foreign assets before making any substantial purchases so that you are able to structure the purchase in an efficient way which could simplify transfer on death. In order to achieve this it is imperative that you take local specialist advice and cross border estate planning from your UK advisor.
During Estate Planning
When considering your estate planning, it is vital that you disclose all assets – foreign or otherwise – to your solicitor. If your solicitor is unaware of particular assets, they will not be able to guide you on what appropriate estate planning measures to take.
Depending on your circumstances, it may be appropriate to have more than one will. Again, it is important to have the benefit of local specialist advice. For example, some countries may not recognise the legitimacy of a trust, thereby making it difficult to transfer assets into trust following your death if this is stipulated in your Will. By taking local advice, the Wills can be drafted appropriately and should make the probate process run much more smoothly when the time comes.
However, one Will could potentially revoke your Will in another country if drafted incorrectly. It is therefore essential to have a holistic approach to your worldwide estate planning.
One final thing to consider is your domicile, as non-UK domiciled clients could gain significant tax advantages. Clients domiciled in certain jurisdictions (even if long-term resident in the UK) can have particular opportunities to shelter non-UK situs assets from UK inheritance tax.
Overall, there are a number of ways that you can work to protect your foreign assets with comprehensive estate planning. However, your chosen method will depend on your personal circumstances. Get in touch with the Pannone Corporate team on 0800 131 3355 or fill out our contact form.