Anyone with children will know that securing their financial future should the worst happen is the highest of priorities.
As an expat, you might have an even better opportunity than most to make sure that plans are put in place to maximise the assets that can be transferred to your heirs on your death.
Local rules and regulations
Living in a low tax environment or in particular jurisdictions can mean there are additional options available to you.
It is all too easy to assume that your host country’s way of doing things will broadly mirror that of your home country but this is rarely the case. Make sure you always take into account local regulations and obtain advice from professionals with expert local knowledge.
For many setting up a trust will provide a good way to minimise risk when passing on wealth to the next generation. Using this method can also reduce any tax that may be payable on death.
A properly set up trust will also make sure that that certain provisions are put in place so that for instance your children will receive the funds or an income only when they reach a certain age.
It is vitally important that you obtain sufficient advice so that your wishes are followed exactly.
While trusts are common in the UK there can be additional opportunities available if trusts are set up offshore. One potential hazard to avoid is in relation to bank accounts. Joint bank accounts opened in certain jurisdictions will not allow access unless both holders are alive.
Transferring UK pensions into Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes may also help keep any tax bill as low as possible.
Your will should guarantee your wishes are fulfilled
When drawing up a will you must be certain that it will work in the relevant jurisdiction.
It should be drawn up by an expert so that you can feel secure that it guarantees that your requirements are carried out exactly as you intend. You won’t be around to do it yourself!