In which country should I make my Will?
Every individual is born with a ‘domicile of origin’ which is based on the domicile of the parents, primarily the father. An individual can however acquire a ‘domicile of choice’ by the residence in a new country and an intention to reside in that new country permanently and indefinitely. You can only have one domicile.
Domicile is particularly relevant when you come to make your Will because if you are domiciled outside of England and Wales, succession law will only apply to ‘immovable’ assets such as land and buildings. In relation to ‘movable’ assets such as bank accounts, investments and shares, even if the assets are in the UK, the way they pass when a person dies may be affected by the succession law of his or her country of domicile. Forced heirship therefore may apply and assets may be distributed not in accordance with your wishes.
It is very important to make a Will in this Country if you own assets here and imperative to take professional legal advice when you make your Will in a foreign country. The lawyer will advise you on the preparation of your Will and the steps you can take to ensure the Will you make to deal with your assets in your new country does not revoke the Will made in England and Wales and vice versa.
Please contact Julie Neilson, Emma Shail or Dan Owens on 01432 352121.
This blog published by T A Matthews is for information purposes only and is not considered legal advice on any subject matter. The blog should not be used as a substitute for legal advice from a solicitor, and readers should consult their own solicitor on any specific legal questions concerning a specific situation.