Cross border estate planning involves bringing together your legal advisers to create an overall plan to cover all of your assets and personal possessions wherever they may be located in the world. For many people, the UK will be their hub as it will be where they are domiciled for tax purposes but it can be foreign jurisdictions.
What is cross border estate planning?
If you have family living abroad, second homes or off shore assets., you have a cross border issue. Cross border planning brings together legal advice from your advisers together. It covers all jurisdictions in which you have an interest to provide an overall plan to achieve your aims.
How will it help?
Legal systems can vary significantly between countries. This can cause unwanted effects such as increased tax and assets passing to the wrong people. Being aware of all the different systems at the time you create your plan can help overcome the many pitfalls. It can simplify matters, can reduce cost and most importantly, reduce stress at what will be a very difficult time for your family.
What happens if I do not make adequate plans?
At best, it could cause the estate administration to become more complicated and expensive than it otherwise would have been. At worst, your assets could pass to someone you did not want them to pass to and you may end up paying significantly more tax thus reducing the amount passing to the people you love.
What should I consider:
Your family circumstances
Where are your family located at present and do they plan to move in future. This could impact the advice you receive.
The location of your assets
You will need to consider taking advice in each country where you have an asset.
This is more than just where you live or pay your taxes. It covers your long term intentions and your thoughts about where ‘home’ is. Where you are domiciled will significantly affect the distribution of your estate and how much tax you will pay.
Do you have trusted advisers in each country where you have assets or family? It is essential for your advisers to work together on your long term plan.