Expats ‘Must Make Wills A Key Part Of Their Move’

Expert Calls On People To Focus On The Issue

18.03.2011

Those who are keen to enjoy life abroad have been urged by will dispute specialists at Irwin Mitchell to ensure they consider their will when making such a move.

The Will, Trust and Estate Disputes team at Irwin Mitchell is concerned that, as the number of expats abroad remains high, the issue of planning their affairs after death can sometimes be overlooked and the firm is calling for people to put a focus back on the issue.

Louise Sykes, Irwin Mitchell Partner and head of the team, explained: “While so many people enjoy moving to Spain or other countries upon retirement, they often fail to realise that having assets in two different countries can cause difficulties when it comes to the division of an estate after death.

“The best possible advice is to have a will for every country in which you have assets, as this will go some way to ensuring that your wishes can be carried out in line with the legislation – and tax guidance – in the relevant country.”

The team, who provide specialist advice in contesting wills advise that the drafting of wills which are specific to separate countries can provide a number of benefits, including clarity when changing the ownership of assets and the guarantee that the maximum value of assets can be passed on to family and loved ones.

Louise added: “We would encourage people to remember that the creation of different wills for different countries can prevent a number of difficulties going forward, meaning your wishes are more likely to be met in the future.

“A failure to closely consider the issue, including the provisions of any existing will could leave many people facing a time-consuming and difficult will dispute , so we would advise anyone looking to move abroad at any time, but particularly in later life, to look at all of their options and to instruct specialists to advise.” 

If you are involved in a will dispute or need further information about contesting a will, please visit our Will, Trust & Estate Disputes section