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Foreign Wills and Assistance

Foreign assets such as real estate property, time shares, bank accounts, investments, holiday homes, etc  will all create complications if there is U.K. Domicile.

Although an English Will should suffice, needless to say it creates complications, due to probate issues and HMRC legislation.

Some countries have double taxation treaties with the United Kingdom, but far too often real estate property is not transferable without Probate being issued in that country. The  legislation  including succession law  (and of course the language) of that country will apply. It is often best advice to seek professional help, and this is where Norfolk Will Writing Services can assist.

For example, we have a close association with Spanish notaries and solicitors (“abogados”) throughout Spain who can assist with purchase, sale and probate. Norfolk Will Writing Services are able to advise  you on succession planning and wills and if relevant the parallel probate within England and Wales.

Foreign assets do complicate distribution of the estate and  can delay probate considerably . Translation and legal interpretation are required, and again we can assist you here.

Domicility is another complex issue :  it is usually one’s father’s country of birth that dictates  domicility , ie the Domicile of Origin.  Often people wrongly assume that because they are British , have a dual nationality or were born here they have a UK domicile,

This is so important to get clear advice on, as HMRC are not as flexible on allowing tax planning with non UK domiciles .

Irish and Scottish  law should also be borne in mind, as succession laws there  are not  the same as  in England & Wales.

French succession is very complex and still dates back to Napoleonic times. Assets are usually never held as jointly owned . The proportions  bequeathed to heirs are dictated by law, with only one third passing to the surviving spouse. Clearly this could often cause complication.

Please contact us for advice in this complex area.

We are now very proud to have an association with Vives Pons & Asociados Global Solutions Abogados, offering Wills, Probate and Foreign Conveyance, Criminal Law and Civil Law, and assistance with Spanish property purchases, and land issues. They offer a superb helpful solution to any Spaniard or Ex Pat living in Spain who owns property and requires a Spanish solution. We will of course advise the client and deal with communicating with the team on your behalf. They offer competitive fees and a comprehensive and   helpful service throughout Spain.

French Wills:

There are a few different ways of making a will in France; please see below:

There are different types of Wills in France, each having its own characteristics:  The Holographic Will (“testament olographe”), which is written by the testator himself and kept in a safe place. No special formalities are necessary with the exception that it must be handwritten by the testator, signed and dated. Typed versions are not advised as they will be annulled by the Court for not meeting the requirements of the French Civil Code.

An Authentic Will (“le testament authentique”) is a Will made in the presence of a notaire and witnesses, or by two notaires. The last wishes of the Testator are dictated to the notaire and then transcribed. Following the reading of this Will to the Testator, the Will is dated and signed by the latter, then countersigned by the witnesses and the notaire(s).

The Sealed Will (“Le testament mystique”) is a Will prepared by the Testator and presented to the notaire in front of two witnesses, in a closed envelope, and stamped with a seal. It will not be opened until the death of the Testator.

We can assit you with the creation of these documents through our French Notaire’s which are English speaking, and can also assist with French Probate matters.

Contact us

Norfolk Will Writing Services
Lawrence House
5 St Andrews Hill

Tel: 01692 650397


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