A Place In The Sun Or A Succession Nightmare?

Imagine yourself on a sun lounger, soaking up the Iberian sun in your own private villa, listening to the gentle waves lapping at the shore as you enjoy a cool Pina Colada? For many people it’s the dream, and for a lucky few, a reality. If you do have a property abroad it’s very important to consider what would happen to it in the event of your death and ensure that your affairs are in order.

Even if you have already made a Will in the UK, should you own property abroad, it is advisable that you also have a Will made in the country of ownership. This is because a UK Will may not be valid abroad and there may be different succession rules that you may need to be aware of that could affect your estate. This means that despite having a UK Will that clearly sets out your wishes, your executors may incur undue stress, expense and difficulty when trying to administer your estate abroad. This also goes for bank accounts and other sizeable assets held abroad, such as cash accounts and shareholdings.

As well having a foreign Will detailing your wishes for your foreign assets, it is also advisable to update your UK Will. This is so that there is no confusion when it comes to specific assets and also to ensure that your UK Will doesn’t conflict with any foreign Will you might have made.

Catalonia & Spain

Given the recent and ever louder calls for Catalonian independence from Spain, you may wish to take this opportunity to organise your affairs both in the UK and abroad. As many of the popular destinations to buy a holiday property on the Costa Brava, Lloret De Mar and Barcelona fall within the region of Catalonia, the time has never been better to ensure your succession plans are in place. Although it is not certain what Catalan independence would mean for Spanish Wills and succession, and we would advise seeking advice from any Spanish solicitors you may have, it would nonetheless be advisable that you take the opportunity to ensure your UK Will clearly deals with your domestic assets, so that whatever happens abroad, you are in the best position to begin foreign asset planning.

At Nelsons, we have a team of specialists throughout the East Midlands to assist you in all aspects of your succession planning and wealth management, combining up to date commercial awareness with expedient service so you are prepared for whatever the future may bring.

Nelsons also has numerous bilingual members of staff to assist you. To find out more about updating your Will or for advice on any aspect of succession planning, please contact a member of our Wills, Trusts & Probate team on 0800 024 1976 or email newbusinessteam@nelsonslaw.co.uk