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Expat Wills

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Expat Wills

Postby CHE26 » Tue 5 Oct 2010 06:01 GMT

I need to make a new Will. I am British, married to an Australian and currently living and working in New Zealand although my husband and I plan to return to Australia in the next few years. I have assets in the UK, Australia and New Zealand and beneficiaries in the UK, Australia and New Zealand! My executors are in the UK and New Zealand. Under which law should I make my will or does it not matter??
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Postby Dave » Tue 5 Oct 2010 16:03 GMT

Hi, and welcome. :-D

I'm honestly not sure whether there's a correct way to proceed in every case, but my presumption has always been that if you have assets in multiple jurisdictions, and you have a separate will drawn up for each jurisdiction, dealing solely with the assets falling under that jurisdiction, then you'll be certain to get it right.

Otherwise you run the risk of a will drawn up perfectly legally under one set of laws, which contravenes the laws where the assets are physically held - and that will be a nightmare for your executor(s) to sort out. Alternatively you could try to draw up a will that covers multiple jurisdictions, but if any of the provisions contravene the laws of the jurisdiction where the will is lodged, then you have a different but equally difficult situation for the executors.

It's an interesting question, and one which would bear wider discussion - I'll ask on the main forum (and post a link here to the main forum discussion) to see if we can get a few more opinions.

Edit: I've reposted on the BE general forum - Expat Wills.
I've also shifted this topic to the Money Matters board as it's the most appropriate place for discussion of wills.
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