We are forever travelling. I spent two years with my wife and son to complete my doctorate in tax and estate planning in England.
Many of us have real estate, bank accounts and pension funds overseas. Does your Australian Will cover these assets?
Legal Consolidated’s Wills (even the non-tax effective ones) are automatically drafted to include worldwide assets. (Tasmania has a unique signing structure for their Wills. All Legal Consolidated’s Wills comply also with Tasmanian law – as well as the laws in all Australian States and Territories.)
But, assets held in another country are subject to the laws of that country.
Which countries honour Australian Wills?
Most Commonwealth countries share a similar legal system. Usually, they automatically recognise Australian Wills. This is the case for the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Canada.
Further, under the Hague Conference on Private International Law these 82 countries automatically honour Australian Wills:
Bosnia and Herzegovina
China, People’s Republic of
Korea, Republic of
Republic of Moldova
Republic of North Macedonia
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
United States of America
You get Probate in Australia. (Probate is proving the Will.) You then get the Probate ‘resealed’ in the other country.
A separate Will in each country in which you hold assets
Another approach it so build your Wills on our website, sign them and email them to the lawyer in the other country. That lawyer prepares their own Will which only covers assets in that overseas country. These are called ‘concurrent Wills’. Your foreign Will is drafted carefully so it does not revoke your Australian Will.
A benefit in having a Will in each country is that each respective lawyer is an expert in their own jurisdiction. Each Will is structured with the most accurate and up-to-date advice. It ensures that your Will meets all of the relevant legal formalities.
There is another type of Will. It is called an ‘International Will’.
Australia signed the Convention Providing a Uniform Law on the Form of an International Will in 2015. Australia recognises and we can prepare a document called an International Will. However, ‘International Wills’ are a waste of time. ‘International Wills’ are too complex. Few countries signed the convention. We rarely prepare ‘International Wills’. It is better, instead, to just prepare the 3-Generation Testamentary Trust Will.
Please telephone us for help.
Adjunct Professor, Dr Brett Davies, CTA, AIAMA, BJuris, LLB, LLM, MBA, SJD
Legal Consolidated Barristers and Solicitors
Australia wide law firm
Mobile: 0477 796 959
National: 1800 141 612