Learn Why Expats Need a Will
Nobody likes to think about what will happen when their time in the world comes to an end; however, if there is one thing that is certain in life, it’s death and taxes, and for that reason, you should always ensure that you have a valid and robust will in place. This is never so important as it is when you live overseas, especially if you are based in a country that operates under different laws and principles to those you may be accustomed to in your home country. Simply hoping that everything will work out for your friends and family in your absence is simply no good. .Here are some reasons by all expats need a will:
1. You need to ensure that the right assets go to the right people in the event of your death.
Don’t automatically assume that everything will go to your next of kin, which you may trust to redistribute on your behalf. This may not necessarily be the case in your host country. For example, in the UAE, courts will adhere to Sharia Law in any situation where there is no will in place. Such practices will mean that your estate is distributed according to Islamic principles, which favor the male family members. Luckily, expatriates who live in the UAE can opt to use the law of their own country under the Personal Affairs Law; however, they can only do this if they have a legally binding will in place.
Through creating a will, you can explore the laws that are in force in your host destination and take active steps to make sure that your estate will not be treated in a manner that goes against your wishes.
2. The creation of a solid, legally robust will should help avoid any cross-border disputes in the event of your death.
There is a chance that your new nation of residence may have an interest in your estate when you die. This will especially be the case if you own, hold, or have an interest in assets in different locations worldwide. By writing a will, you can help your family avoid the serious difficulties they would face if you were to die intestate, i.e., without making a will.
3. Through writing, you will maximize the chance that legal authorities in your host country will respect your wishes.
If you live overseas, you should enlist a legal specialist’s help to help you put your will together so that it complies with the local legal requirements. This will ensure that your wishes are respected and that your assets do not get treated in a manner that you would not have approved of.
4. A will can help your beneficiaries to reduce the tax they pay on your assets
Through proper planning and a tax specialist’s involvement, you can ensure that you minimize the tax bill that your loved ones will face after your death. Through investing in solid advice now, you can make sure that your hard-earned assets go to your family members, not the pockets of your host or home country’s government.
5. You can protect the interests of your children
If you have children, then you really can’t overlook the importance of ensuring that you have a robust will in place. Your children are your most valuable assets, and you will want to make sure that they are looked after if something happens to both you and yo
ur partner. It is not good enough to tell your family and friends your wishes; in many countries, a will is the only legally recognized instrument used to appoint guardians if both parents pass away. If you live overseas, you may also need to appoint temporary guardians who can look after your children while the permanent guardians make their way to your host country to collect your child.
The importance of putting a valid will in place cannot be overlooked. Not only will this give you peace of mind that your children and your assets are looked after in the event of your death, but it will also help you to prevent your family and friends from facing unnecessary problems when they attempt to resolve your estate. Once you have accepted that you need to have a will, you will face the potentially overwhelming writing task. To help, we will have published a handy guide to writing an expat will. You can find it here.
Read the full article: http://www.expatinfodesk.com/blog/2013/08/26/a-comprehensive-guide-to-writing-an-expat-will/