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Overseas Assets & Cross Border Estates

We live in an increasingly international world. Many of us have international links whether it is owning assets abroad, such as a holiday home; having a spouse or civil partner of a different nationality; or having children who live or study overseas. Or you may be a foreign citizen with assets or relationships in the UK. Whatever the situation more and more of us have connections of some sort with foreign jurisdictions.

In such circumstances it is important to consider the cross-border issues that arise including international wills, inheritance tax and succession planning, and the administration of estates - including foreign and UK probate. Without considered planning and organising an individual’s estate can end up going to places they do not wish or be subjected to unexpected and unwanted taxation or succession rules. There are three closely connected and inter-dependent areas that we deal with: international estate and tax planning, will writing and administration of international estates.

International Estate and Tax Planning

International and cross-border estate and tax planning can be highly complex. We can help guide you through the key issues involved including tax planning, residency and domicile status.

We can help you understand the interaction of the relevant succession and tax regimes, and plan for any matrimonial property rules or inheritance contracts that may apply, including pre and post-nuptial agreements and the impact of any divorce or dissolution agreements.

Making an International Will

We regularly advise on and draft Wills dealing with international assets. We also advise and draft wills for people living abroad who want a will for their UK assets.

Although there are many common elements to making a Will in different countries, there are also many variables that need to be taken into account. Where you have assets, citizenship or residency in another country you need to consider the local succession and tax laws of each country that apply when making your Will. It may also be necessary to look at EU rules.

Failure to consider the international aspects of your estate may to lead to a Will being invalid or your assets not being distributed how you expect.

Your residence and domicile status, along with the location of your assets, will directly affect how your Will is drafted. It may be advisable, for example, to put in place separate Wills in different countries which, when taken together, can deal with the distribution of all of your assets. The choice of law can also be included in a Will.

Administering International Estates

We understand this can be an emotional and stressful time and the administration of an international estate can be extremely complex. We regularly advise on the administration of estates with international assets. We consider which succession rules will apply to the estate and what the effect of the Will, or Wills, might be. The interaction of inheritance or succession tax in the various countries needs careful consideration and management. Our services include:

  • Providing assistance following death overseas of a family member or friend
  • Co-coordinating legal advice across different countries or jurisdictions
  • Project managing complex multi-national estates
  • Notarisation and legalisation (with apostille) of documentation
  • Obtaining foreign and UK probate
  • Re-sealing of foreign grants of probate under the Colonial Probates Act

Access to high quality international legal advice

LCF Law’s clients range from UK individuals with assets abroad such as a holiday home; to non-UK nationals with assets in the UK; through to ultra-high net worth individuals with assets right across the world.

Our team has been trained to deal with international and cross-borders matters in every jurisdiction of the world and we specialise in multi-jurisdictional matters. We have experience of civil, common and Sharia law systems from a diverse range of jurisdictions.

Where appropriate, the LCF Law team works closely with an established and trusted network of carefully chosen overseas lawyers and specialists including: abogados, attorneys, avocats, notaires, notaries and notars.

Related international services

In support of the international work undertaken by our Cross-border estates team, LCF Law can also provide legal advice and support covering the following areas:

  • Immigration law
  • International charitable legacies
  • International family law
  • Notarial services
  • Private client property law

LCF Law’s Personal Law Solicitor Amjed Zaman has been awarded the STEP Advanced Certificate in Cross-Border Estates. He is one of only 134 lawyers worldwide who are accredited with this specialist qualification.

Amjed is an Affiliate Member of the Society of Trusts and Estates Practitioners (STEP), a Member of the STEP Cross Border Special Interest Group and a Full Accredited Member of the Solicitors for the Elderly (SFE).

“Thank you for all your help in obtaining the Grant of probate for my mother-in-law… your efforts on my behalf made the whole process so much less stressful and are very much appreciated”

“We were highly satisfied with the services of LCF and should like to thank Amjed Zaman for the help and advice given to us at this difficult time.”

“Your thoughtful care and empathy was much appreciated. You showed us the way to go on many occasions, made things clear to us – things which were unknown and therefore required explanation."

“From the first meeting to the last email, Amjed and the team of LCF Law have been kind, considerate and understanding. This was my first experience with the company per se and will remain my ‘go to’ company, when and if required in the future.”

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