Increasingly, clients are holding assets in multiple jurisdictions. This may be driven by a number of factors, such as taxation (direct and inheritance), forced heirship or testators’ family maintenance legislation, asset protection concerns, including liability under family law and bankruptcy legislation. It is sometimes also driven by the need to spread wealth between countries, thereby assisting with sovereign risk and currency risk.

Estate planning for some wealthy Australians may involve becoming a non-resident of Australia for tax purposes. Conversely, estate planning for residents of countries with inheritance tax (e.g. the UK), may involve those residents first becoming temporary tax residents of Australia, and eventually adopting a domicile of choice in Australia. This does not require them to renounce citizenship of their country (e.g. the UK), unlike perhaps, the US.

Alternatively, individuals may simply have moved overseas to live and work or due to relationships, or foreigners have moved to Australia for the same reasons. As a country of immigrants or the children of immigrants, many Australians may become entitled to foreign estates, or foreigners may be entitled to Australian estates. Complex cross-border succession issues can arise which are potentially even more complex if the individual dies or becomes incapacitated without a will or powers of attorney.

We can provide advice including:

  • Pre planning – income & inheritance tax issues for:
    • Incoming residents
    • Outgoing residents
    • Outgoing investors
  • Use of companies & trusts in foreign jurisdictions
    • Concerning wills & estates that have an international dimension, as well as the drafting of wills dealing with both foreign and local assets and beneficiaries, as well as resealing of foreign probate in Australia.
    • Cross-border estate disputes.

For more information see: