May is Maternal Mental Health Month. Becoming a mum can be extremely stressful with 80% of new mothers experiencing the ‘baby blues’, which can spiral into more serious mental health issues. Preparing financially for the huge changes that becoming a parent bring, can help maintain mental health. Here are six financial steps you can take…
One of the only certainties in life is that it will one day come to an end. However, evidence from around the world is that the majority of us have made little or no provision for our own demise.
It is unsurprising that people avoid thinking about the death of certain family members because of its association with grief and loss. While it is understandable, it can also be a mistake as failing to plan and prepare for your own death can result in financial hardship and struggle for those you love most. That is why it is imperative that you write a will after consulting with a will writer to set out what should happen to your money, your property, your possessions and all your assets after your death. Wills give people control and options and it means that even in death you can give your loved ones, both friends and family, opportunities.
It is advised to consult a lawyer with local expertise on how to distribute assets as laws concerning wills differ between different countries. In a civil law country, heirship laws may be enforced upon you and your assets may be subject to estate duties and inheritance taxes. When you have assets located in different countries and jurisdictions, forced heirship laws are something to be informed on as they will greatly affect the distribution of your assets.
It is vital to understand the distinction between different legal systems. In common law countries, a will shall be closely adhered to given that it has been written correctly and witnessed by the correct number of people. Most countries would accept a will that was written in a different common law country.
Civil law countries are a bit different in their approach. Some countries may recognise a will that was written in another country, but only if it doesn’t interfere with the local law. Assets will commonly be distributed according to the regulations of civil law countries. Some civil law jurisdictions put limits on the portions of some estates. This is known as forced heirship laws. The concept of an executioner is often lacking in such countries, in which case assets will be granted to beneficiaries by means of an automated operation.
Settling an estate with a valid will is relatively simple and fast regarding the court process involved. In the case of a joint tenancy, the surviving spouse will legally inherit the entire property. Wills enable lawyers to deal with the distribution of movable property, such as bank accounts, and immovable properties according to your wishes. When it comes to immovable property, the laws of the country in which the immovable property resides will be applicable.
You may wish to make changes to your previously written will due to various factors such as inheritance tax, intestacy law, or insurance policies. Whether they are small or major changes, a lawyer can even help you write separate wills to ensure that your assets are distributed to each beneficiary fairly regardless of the country in which your estate, assets, property or beneficiary is located.
It has become commonplace for those who come from a Commonwealth country to have two separate wills. One in accordance with their home country and another for assets such as immovable property in another country who may have dissimilar laws from their home country.
Although making a will may seem unsettling, doing so means you are protecting your estate. In the absence of a will, the state will determine how your assets and estate will be distributed, which may not align with your wishes. Additionally, a will saves your family a great deal of stress and uncertainty in their time of grief.
Your will is an absolutely crucial piece of your financial planning. This is particularly the case for expatriates and others who may have assets in several different countries where the passing of their estate is subject to different legislation. As an ex-pat living away from your home country, jurisdictions are of concern and may give your spouse and your children a lot more technicalities to deal with in court.
Wills can be composed without input from lawyers, but this is done at your own risk and writing service is still highly advised. Wills constitute more than just estate planning, money and tax, and distributed assets. Lawyers can ensure that your loved ones are protected by the law and the court in your absence.
Even if you feel that you do not have an estate or many assets that need to be distributed, the function of wills goes beyond estate planning. Wills constitute legal advice on something as trivial as funeral arrangements too.
Infinity is here to guide you through all aspects of estate planning and to provide you with a will that sets out your final wishes.
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Infinity’s Adon Beddoes, based in HCM city Vietnam, has capably and assiduously looked after my overseas financial assets for nearly eight years, following my transfer to Lao PDR. Before that, it was Trevor Keidan and team at Infinity Bangkok. Throughout my many years with Infinity, I’ve found them – and Adon in particular – to…
Adon Beddoes has worked very well with us so far. He explained the investment opportunities clearly, kept in contact frequently, and invited us in a timely fashion to review our portfolio and take part in regular webinars, which we have found enlightening. Great work.