What You Need to Know About Expat Wills
Expat Wills are an essential part of protecting an expatriate family’s interests.
Expatriates circumstances are more complex than those with assets in just one country. There are different inheritance and tax laws for each country. It is therefore essential that expats have an up-to-date and valid Will.
Despite this, recent figures show that over half of UK adults do not have a Will. Many say they plan to make a Will later in life because they feel that it will be too complex and costly. This is particularly common for those with step families. As a result, over 31 million run the risk of dying intestate and having their estate distributed solely according to Intestacy Law.
Don’t leave anything to chance! Get in touch with Liquid Expat Mortgages today for further information regarding our Will writing service.
Liquid Expat Mortgages International Wills
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to the problem of international estates and expat Wills, as each individual’s circumstances are unique and require bespoke solutions. Liquid Expat Mortgages assists expats in understanding their needs and finding the most suitable arrangement for their circumstances. A Will can save time, tax and money when settling even modest estates.
Speak to our expert legal team about your individual circumstances and how we can help you. Call us on +44 (0)161 871 1216, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can alternatively send us a message via out Contact Page.
Top Ten Reasons To Make A Will
- If you do not leave a Will, the law decides how your estate is passed on and this may not be in line with your wishes. This may lead to your spouse having to share your estate with your children whom you may not have intended to benefit straight away.
- In England and Wales, if you are married with children, you might assume that all your assets would go to your spouse. However, if you die without a valid Will and your estate is worth more than £250,000, your partner will only get the first £250,000. If you do not leave a Will, your spouse will get one half of the remainder of the estate and your children, the other half between them. If your assets are worth less than £250,000, your children will get nothing.
- If you are not married, your partner is not legally entitled to any of your estates when you die. At present, the intestacy rules do not recognise cohabitees. If you live with your partner and die without having made a Will, your partner will not automatically inherit any of your estates – there is no such thing as a “common law wife”. Your partner may have a claim on the estate, but this is expensive and a situation that should be avoided.
- A Will permits you to appoint guardians to look after your children if they are under 18 and you can also make financial arrangements for their benefit in the event of your death.
- Writing a Will can ensure Inheritance Tax (IHT) is kept to a minimum. A properly drafted Trust in your Will could enable someone to manage the inheritance you leave to a disabled or vulnerable person and may ensure the intended beneficiary does not lose his/her means-tested benefits.
- A Will allows you to choose your own Executors. If you die without a Will, your closest relatives will need to apply for ‘Letters of Administration’. The Executors chosen on your behalf may not be in line with your wishes.
- A Will allows you to leave specific sums or items to individuals. These can range from items of jewellery to sums of money.
- A Will also makes it much easier for your family or friends to sort everything out when you die. Without a Will, the process can be more time consuming and stressful.
- It is possible to write your own Will; however homemade Wills should only be used in the most straightforward of circumstances. i.e. leaving your entire estate to 1 person. At The Law Practice (UK) Ltd, we do not recommend that you write your own Will as without legal assistance, mistakes can be made which can be disastrous, leading to invalid Wills, or the wrong beneficiaries benefitting. Homemade Wills are unregulated and do not offer the consumer protection that a solicitor does as we are backed by Professional Indemnity Insurance and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
- Once you have a valid Will, you should review it every 5 years and after any major change in your life such as marriage or divorce, moving home, having a baby or if the executor dies. It is important to note that your Will is automatically revoked on marriage.
Help with Expat Wills Disputes
Losing a loved one is one of the hardest things to go through. If there is also a dispute over a Will or estate, this can make it even harder.
We have the largest specialist team in the country for dealing with Will, trust and estate disputes. We understand how difficult it can be when the terms of the Will are not as expected, or there are disagreements between those inheriting and those in charge of administering the estate or looking after the various assets.
Our specialist solicitors can help with:
• Contesting a Will – if there are issues with the Will itself
• Contentious probate – if there is a dispute over how the estate is administered
• Inheritance Act claims – if you have been left out of a Will or not left as much as you need
• Trust disputes – including the removal of a trustee
• Professional negligence – if a solicitor/writer has not drawn up the Will properly, or provided negligent advice
• Concerns over financial deputyship – when the deceased did not have the capacity to manage their own affairs
Disputes over a deceased person’s estate are unpleasant, but sadly they do happen. Large and complex estates can present even more challenges, and it’s vital you have the experts on your side.
Our team has resolved some of the country’s most high-profile disputes and are particularly experienced with the unique challenges of estates where there is rural property involved, or assets are held in different countries under multiple jurisdictions.
We understand that this is a sensitive matter, often involving close family and loved ones. At every stage we’ll strive to make sure your claim goes as smoothly as possible, and reaches the best resolution. Whether you are making or defending a dispute against a Will or estate, our experienced and friendly team can help. We have offices across the country, and are happy to meet somewhere that’s convenient for you.