Do you own assets in the UK, but now live overseas?
It is important that you make a Will for each country where you have assets
What are assets?
your home, and any other property you own
savings in bank and building society accounts
National Savings, such as premium bonds
insurance, such as life assurance or an endowment policy
pension funds that include a lump sum payment on death
investments such as stocks and shares or investment trusts
If you have assets in more than one country, or you are living in a different country to your assets, then you need an Expat Will.
Your assets must be probated in the country in which they are located. Probate is the process by which your Will is validated as your official Last Will and Testament, and by which your Executor is officially granted the powers to act as your estate administrator. Probate courts in each country will generally only accept a Will written under the laws of that country.
For example, presenting a Will written under the laws of Spain, to a probate court in England, is not going to work or will be very costly to your estate. This is because your UK assets will now pass under the laws of Spain as well as UK. This is why it is recommend that you prepare a Will for each country in which you hold assets.
If you are from the U.K. living abroad, and need a Will to cover your U.K. assets
If you are not from the UK but have assets in the UK
You will need a separate will for each country where you hold assets.
You must ensure that each will acknowledges the other and does not revoke each other
There is no better time than now to write your Will.
Planning to Protect your Wealth for Future Generations
Most people do not have a Will and the number of Expats with an up-to-date Will is even lower.
You may feel that the distribution of your assets is obvious, or that your assets are not significant enough to worry about.
Without a Will, you die intestate and the court will appoint an administrator on your behalf. Decisions will be taken out of your family and loved ones hands and distribution made according to the court.
The process is long and extremely costly and an addition emotional stress for your family and loved ones. This can be avoided by making a Will.
When making wills in separate countries, it's extremely important to advise each of your lawyers that you either intend to make, or have already made, a will in another country.
This is to ensure that your wills don't contradict each other or inadvertently revoke the other.