What happens to my assets in foreign countries when I die?
The probate procedures in every country are unique, and different inheritance laws can clash. Usually, when an individual dies leaving assets in multiple countries, it is necessary to obtain a Grant of Probate or similar document in each of the countries where assets remain. A probate attorney from the foreign country is often consulted in tandem with a domestic probate attorney, too – this can help streamline the probate process and ensure that the probates in each country do not undermine each other.
To plan for an estate that will likely have foreign assets, a foreign codicil to a domestic Will may be drafted, as well. This is a document which acts as a supplement to an original Will which accounts for the immovable assets (i.e. real property) remaining in a foreign country. Or, one may look into drafting a formal Will in the foreign country, being careful to specify which assets the new Will is addressing and to reference the original domestic Will. Whether one uses a foreign codicil or drafts a separate foreign Will, it is important to acknowledge the foreign assets so as to avoid leaving them subject to intestacy rules.
For advice and guidance in creating your Will(s) and planning for your estate, especially if you own foreign assets, contact the highly-trained and dedicated attorneys of Bach, Jacobs & Byrne, P.A. Call us at (941) 906-1231 to set up a consultation.