Looking after you, and the generations to follow
Do you own assets in the UK, but you 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. So, 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 as 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.
Why do I need a Will?
Married? Without a Will your spouse or civil partner may not automatically inherit all of your estate.
Living with a partner? Without a Will the law treats you both as single and your partner would receive nothing.
Children from a previous relationship? If you are now married, children from a previous relationship may inherit nothing.
Property owner? You should specify who you wish to inherit or live in your property after you have passed away and consider protecting your share against possible care costs.
A grandparent? You may want to add your new grandchild to your Will so they inherit something directly from you.
Don't want the state to decide who inherits from me? Making a Will is the only way to put you in control. It allows you to name your beneficiaries and specify what you want them to inherit.
If you are currently living in Europe and have assets that will be affected by the end of the Brexit transition period 31st December 2020 where we will no longer be classed members of the European Union.
Updating Your Will .. change in circumstances
It is highly unlikely that you will only write your Will once in your life. Your own personal or financial circumstances may change, or there could be a change in the life of anybody named in your Will. If you get, divorced, or have children, then you need to update your Will. Marriage revokes any previous will unless it was made in contemplation of marriage. If one of your beneficiaries has a change of fortune, or your Executor has a health issue, you still need to update your Will.
You should update your Will after any major change in your life.
Are you separated or divorced?
Have you got married?
Had a child?
Acquired new assets?
There is no better time than now to write your Will.
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.