Having our investments, property and estate managed in a tax efficient manner is a start, but if we drop dead tomorrow, god forbid, is there a clear way forward? A Will can be a very simple document short and concise, or very detailed and convoluted. A Will can be a very powerful document and can in most jurisdictions save much time and heartache at a very difficult time. Why then on average do 50-60% of people not have a Will in place, and close to 80% of those under age 35?
Without a Will in place our assets and estate must then be distributed under the rules of intestacy, thus giving us no control to who or where our estate is distributed, or the length of time it can take to settle the estate, further complications can arise when our assets are then located in numerous jurisdictions. As you can imagine this can become a time consuming, expensive and frustrating exercise in an already difficult time for our families.
When there is a Will, there is a clear way to make sure that that our final wishes do happen and save our family and beneficiaries undue pain through prolonged legal processes, which can in some cases take several years. Below are a few points to keep in mind when drawing up a Will.
Always make sure the Will is up to date and valid.
Make changes to the Will when a change of, or additional assets are added to your estate.
Have a valid Will written in each jurisdiction you hold your assets.
In each jurisdiction be fully aware of the different legislation regarding inheritance, property & tax.
Make sure the Will meets the requirements of the country you live in, or assets are held in and is legally valid, thus reducing the chance of disputes.
Be fully aware or your domicile, residency & tax status when drawing up your Will.
Consider how inheritance or estate tax will affect your assets before distribution to your beneficiaries.
Does succession law apply in any jurisdictions you hold assets, some European countries operate a system of forced heirship and can override a final Will.
I'm sure this may raise some questions, if you would like to discuss in more detail please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Paul Dickinson ACSI,