The World Cup of Wills

July 16, 2018

Wills and Probate

The World Cup of Wills

The football World Cup has sadly come to an end for another 4 years (or 4½ years, to be precise, with the announcement that Qatar 2022 will be the first ‘winter’ World Cup, taking place in November and December 2022).

Watching the thousands of fans from at least 32 different nationalities mixing freely in cities throughout Russia reminded me of the truly international world in which we live and, being a Private Client lawyer focused on death and taxes, it also reminded me of the importance of considering foreign assets when putting in place a Will or carrying out estate planning.

I am based in our Bicester office and, in the past two months alone I have advised clients who are based in the UK but who own assets in the USA, Thailand, Algeria, Italy and Turkey.

My colleagues in our Oxford office, given the highly international demographics of that city, deal with these issues on an even more regular basis. 


It is crucial that any and all foreign assets are taken into account when drafting the Will.

  • Should the Will purport to deal with all assets, wherever in the world they are situated (at the risk of conflicting with the local inheritance laws in the foreign jurisdiction)?
  • Should the Will be restricted to dealing with assets in this country only?
  • Should the Will be restricted to worldwide assets, except a specifically-identified foreign jurisdiction?
  • Should a choice of governing law be included in the wording of the Will?
  • Are there any issues regarding the ‘domicile’ of the person making the Will, and how will the ‘domicile of birth’, ‘domicile of choice’ or ‘deemed domicile’ impact on the tax treatment of the estate on death?

All of these questions (and more) should be considered. HMG Law’s team of experienced Solicitors, Accountants and Tax Advisors can guide you through the process so that you do not fall ‘foul’ of any unconsidered foreign assets and end up paying the ‘penalty’.         

If you would like some help or advice with any aspect of making a Will and other Private Client matters, please call Ben on 01869 252244.

posted by Ben Saunders | July 16 2018