It is vital to ensure that your affairs are in order before moving abroad. You will need to make an appointment to speak with a professional about how the law in different countries can affect your Will and the management of your assets in the UK and those abroad.
Making a will requires you to face your own mortality and is therefore a task that is often put on the back burner. You may be required to create a separate Will for different assets, as property owned in the UK may need to feature in a Will that is independent of a property owned in foreign country. Making a will can be done in your domicile before you move abroad and while it may be compliant with UK laws, it might conflict with laws abroad. This will leave your Will in a legal ‘no-man’s land’.
It is essential to know the answers to the following questions:
I own property abroad – How do I handle this in my will?
When you own property in a foreign country, it is usually necessary to make a Will in the same country and the type of property will affect how the local law handles it.
Is it better to write a will before or after I move?
It is far easier to create your will before you move as the identification process is more complicated if you are already based in a foreign country. However, if you own property in the country that you are moving to, you may need to create a different Will (in that country) solely for the assets owned there.
Can I update my will?
Saga advises to update a will “as soon as you acquire new assets, get divorced or if there is a birth or death that affects your estate”.
In the UK, the FSA governs the financial sector to ensure only accurate legal advice is dispensed by qualified parties, but many foreign countries don’t have the same protective bodies in place. This makes it essential to get financial advice in the UK before you move.
It is crucial to always be prepared for the worst and while moving abroad should be a fun and exciting experience; making a legally binding Will to outline how you want your estate to be managed in the event of your death after you move is an important job to undertake.