Where you have assets outside of the UK, it is important to address how these will pass on your death, whether a UK Will is likely to be respected and whether any local taxes may be payable.
Without giving due care and attention to these issues, you may find that assets do not pass as you intended or that tax is due twice.
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We frequently advise clients on international succession planning. Many of our clients have estates with an international dimension and we have considerable experience in advising on cross-border succession issues. We are happy to co-ordinate advice from a range of countries and dovetail our UK advice accordingly.
Under English law an individual has freedom of testamentary disposition, meaning you are entitled to leave your assets to whoever you want. However, many jurisdictions do not provide for such freedoms and so, if you own assets abroad or have a connection to another country, you may be restricted in deciding how those assets should be distributed on your death. For UK nationals, there is now EU legislation which might counteract these “forced heirship” rules (for more information, see our briefing note: Open Borders – Brussels IV).