International and Cross-Border Estate Planning and Wills

Most of our clients do not live within close proximity to our offices, but whether our clients can come into our offices to meet us, or whether we instead take instructions using telephone, email, the post and Skype, we can advise those with assets in the UK and abroad, on how to:

  • structure their wills, so that they are completely valid in all relevant jurisdictions;
  • carry out their wishes, in so far as that is possible in the relevant jurisdiction;
  • deliver results in a tax efficient way. 

We can draft a single UK Will to cover a person’s worldwide estate, or alternatively, where appropriate, draft separate wills to cover UK and overseas assets, drawing on our knowledge and contacts from around the world. 

Owning assets in more than one jurisdiction inevitably leads to conflicts of law which are not always immediately obvious. 

For this reason, and to ensure the accuracy and dependability of our advice, we carefully analyse our client’s circumstances and provide them with a comprehensive, bespoke report before we draft their Wills.

In our experience it is not possible for any lawyer to draft a Will where there are assets in more than one jurisdiction, without considering all of the following issues. If your lawyer is drafting Wills without considering all of the following, you should ask why not?

  • Domicile – Common law and civil law definitions.
  • Matrimonial Property Regimes (marriage contracts).
  • Testamentary Freedom.
  • Foreign ‘Forced Heirship’.
  • Spousal Rights.
  • Conflict of laws / Private International Law.
  • Children from previous relationships – the effect on succession (who gets what) and taxation.
  • European Regulation 650/2012 (Brussels IV) – where appropriate.
  • UK Inheritance Tax Principles.
  • Analysis of our clients worldwide assets, liabilities and lifetime gifts.
  • Detailed liability to UK Inheritance Tax.
  • UK Inheritance Tax Allowances & Exemptions (estate planning opportunities).
  • Generic overview of relevant overseas Inheritance Tax regime.
  • Double Taxation – including double taxation conventions where appropriate.
  • The validity of wills – essential and formal validity in the appropriate jurisdictions.

Once the report is complete we provide this to our clients with a summary, together with recommendations and draft Wills.

When our clients are completely happy we provide final copies of the Wills for them to sign.

  • London skyline
    Recent testimonials

    "Sometimes I couldn’t see the road ahead through all the bureaucracy and international laws and regulations which became quite stressful and demanding, but I am now delighted that the estate has been wound up without further legal issues.

    "Thank you again for all your hard work and advice. Without the support and professionalism of you, Dan and your practice, sorting out the estate would have been impossible to implement independently."

    Edward J

     

  • London skyline
    Recent testimonials

    "Extremely knowledgeable with excellent customer service - the advice comprehensively brought together issues across borders and the fees were more than covered by potential cost savings as a result of implementation of a tax efficient will structure."

    Client Satisfaction Survey Feedback

  • London skyline
    Recent testimonials

    "Stone King LLP is ‘very good’ in its particular niches of cross-border estates and older and vulnerable client services."

    Legal 500 - 2019

  • London skyline
    Recent testimonials

    "Worth every penny. Prior to speaking with you this morning I’ve had conversations with three separate solicitors about this. One … basically told me to blag it … one told me that leaving the house in the will was the best option but without explaining why; and the third talked as if this was the most complex arrangement ever proposed and seemed to confuse even himself.

    "You laid everything out with perfect clarity and patience. Huge relief coming off the call."

    Simon B

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