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Foreign inheritance – obstacles and opportunities

Foreign inheritance

Key points

  • It is critical to ensure the right structure and wills are in place in the appropriate jurisdictions during an individual’s lifetime.
  • Local wills speed up probate; without them assets can be frozen for long periods.
  • Forced heirship regimes can ignore the intentions of the deceased fracturing estates and causing hardship.
  • Individuals domiciled in India Pakistan France and Italy may benefit from estate tax treaties with the UK that can override normal ‘deemed domicile’ rules.

A surprising number of UK resident or domiciled individuals have assets in foreign jurisdictions that include holiday homes foreign investments or bank accounts. In many cases no thought is given to the process of how these assets will be passed on or it is just assumed that a UK will is sufficient to do the job. This can lead to headaches on death at a time when...

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