As we stagger towards the EU exit door, like a confused drunk being escorted from a pub, none of us are any the wiser about what it all means for people with assets in the EU.
Many of out clients have expressed concern about what it all means for families with property and businesses on the continent.
With less than a few weeks to go until we are supposed to have officially left, the truth is no-one has been able to get a clear view on what the outcome will eventually be.
And it is likely to be another two years (at least) of arguing and fighting amongst ourselves before we get any nearer to knowing what our future long-term relationship with Europe will be.
Yet amidst all the chaos, the simple rules by which we have always advised our clients, remain the same.
We all need to make a Will. We all need to be able to clearly state who gets what in the event of our death.
Anyone with assets abroad should ensure that they have a professionally written Will in every country where they have assets.
That means, if you have property in the UK and 2 other countries, you should have 3 Wills. Each made professionally in the country where your assets are based.
It might be deemed unnecessary by some, but when it comes to your property and other assets, it pays to be extra cautious.
If you have property abroad, you should have these in place already. If not, then you need to get these in place straight away.
None of us know when we are going to die. It could be the day before Brexit, or it could be the day after.
The important thing is to not use Brexit as an excuse to delay getting your affairs in order.
If we’ve learnt anything from the last two years, you could be waiting a very long time indeed.
And in that time, anything can happen.
Having said that, a UK Will may be sufficient to cover foreign assets if it has been worded correctly.
The key here is to make sure it has been written by a Will writer who understands comprehensive estate planning and is a member of the Society of Will Writers.
Rebekah Hillman says:
“We have a clause that is extremely helpful in dealing with foreign assets that can be inserted into your Will. This will enable you to deal with your foreign assets in a simpler way.”
However, as mentioned above, it pays to be extra cautious in times of chaos. Having Wills made in each country could save you from any unexpected twists and turns in our relationship with individual EU countries.
We don’t know how Gibraltar will affect our relationship with Spain during negotiations, for example.
So be extra cautious, take the time to do things properly, and hopefully – just like being ‘asked’ to leave a pub – it’ll all be just a hazy, slightly-embarrassing memory soon!
If you would like to find out more then please get in touch and a member of our team will be happy to discuss it with you in more detail.