Protect your assets in the event of your death

Effective financial Planning requires a multi-disciplinary approach.

It is pointless to spend years accumulating assets if those assets are not protected in a way that matches the investor’s aspirations. Proper care needs to be taken to balance such considerations as:

• How do I wish my assets to be distributed after my death?
• Who do I wish to inherit from my estate and in what proportion?
• Do I wish to make special financial provision for children?
• Do I need to appoint Guardians for children?
• Do I need multiple Wills in different countries?
• Does my spouse need a Will?

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If you do not keep an up to date Will then it is entirely possible that after your death, your assets will not be distributed in the way you would have preferred. The only way to ensure that your wishes are accurately complied with is to have Wills prepared by competent professionals.

Many expatriates find themselves in a financial position that is much more complex than if they had stayed at home.

Expatriates may hold property and other assets in multiple different countries. Do not assume that a house or even cash held in a foreign country will be treated the same way as if those assets were held in the home country.
Many expatriates have a foreign spouse. This can have an immediate impact on the taxation on death of an expatriate’s assets. Sometimes tax will be payable in two or more countries.
The children of an expatriate may well have been born in different countries and may perhaps be residents or citizens of third countries.

It is impossible to generalize and offer a “one size fits all” strategy for succession planning. Each person’s situation and aspirations are so unique but as a general rule an investor does need to ensure that all his assets are protected by a Will or at least a Letter of Wishes in the country that those assets are held.

A properly prepared Will can ensure that your assets are dealt with in precisely the manner you intended. You can specify which of your heirs will receive which assets and in which proportions.

Furthermore Inheritance Tax can significantly reduce the overall value of an estate especially when the spouse is foreign. In many cases, a proper Will can reduce or even remove a liability to Inheritance Tax.

Perhaps one of the most overlooked benefits of having a Will is that the assets making up your estate will be distributed without unnecessary delay.

Whilst considering all the important aspects of holistic financial planning it is likely that the investor will look at the possibility of including life assurance and maybe even a Trust or two in his overall strategy.

For all these reasons above we strongly recommend that professional advice is sought from a properly qualified specialist that can bring all these strands together in a single cohesive strategy. The Wealth Management Group of Companies will introduce relevant specialists to assist where required.

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