Stone King’s International and Cross-Border Team have received an increase in queries around Brexit from UK citizens who own property in the EU.
Queries include what impact Brexit will have on estate planning (who gets what when you die) and if inheritance tax will change.
Estate planning is especially important for individuals who own assets overseas, as in some jurisdictions you cannot automatically leave your assets to who you want under your will. For example in many countries you cannot leave all your assets to your spouse when you die – which often comes as a surprise to us in England.
In most EU countries, if you are English or Welsh you can get around the local succession laws by taking advantage of the EU Succession Regulation and making a will in which you choose English or Welsh law.
“The good news is that succession in Europe is governed by the EU Succession Regulation,” says solicitor, Raquel Ugalde.
“The UK never signed up to this particular regulation so we are already treated as a non-EU member state for this particular law. This means that for UK nationals owning assets in Europe, Brexit should not have a direct effect on how you can leave your assets when you die.”
There are a number of double taxation treaties between the between the UK and some European states which exist to reduce the likelihood of both UK and foreign inheritance tax being charged on your assets.
“These double taxation treaties are all decades old, and as such it is highly unlikely that Brexit will have any effect on them for the time being,” adds associate solicitor, Charlotte Macdonald.
Partner and Head of the International and Cross-Border Team, Dan Harris said that estate planning is vital for those with overseas assets.
“It is important to carry out estate planning to ensure that the people who you love inherit when you pass away, and to make sure that your wishes do not inadvertently leave your beneficiaries with a large inheritance tax bill.”
Stone King’s specialist International and Cross-Border team are all highly trained and qualified in cross-border law.
The team can analyse people’s circumstances and write bespoke wills which will be valid in the UK and overseas and mean that you can make sure your assets go to the people that you want when you pass away.
For more information contact the team today on 01225 337599 or by email.