The US diaspora reaches every corner of the World. There are sizeable US contingents in Mexico, the Philippines, Israel and Liberia, but this is just a start. Millions of US citizens are finding new lives in Europe, Asia and Africa there are millions of US citizens with statistical estimates of anywhere from three to six million Americans living abroad. The following map is provided by www.americansabroad.org
A good proportion of these US citizens still hold assets back in their home country, and where you hold assets, you need a Will. So what are the steps involved in preparing your US Last Will and Testament, when you are living in a foreign country? What options are available to you? and how important is it to have a Will in place anyway?
Which approaches are available for preparing a US Last Will and Testament while living abroad?
There are fundamentally four methods of preparing a US Last Will and Testament while living overseas. Continue reading
I am completely confused. I was told that a new arrangement with England and France will come into force this year, allowing me as an english woman domiciled in France to make a Will leaving my assets in France and in England to whoever I wish, as I could if I were domiciled in England.
There are millions of Expats living overseas, and our service at ExpatLegalWills.com serves the needs of the 2.8 Million Canadians, the 6 million Americans and the 13 million Brits who now regard themselves as Expats.
Many of these expats still have property in their homeland, and are in the process of writing their UK Wills. The question that immediately comes to mind is that if they are living say, in Dubai, Continue reading
The basics of a Will are pretty much the same in any jurisdiction in the World. The document needs to identify the person making the Will, describe the distribution of the estate, and be signed in the presence of two witnesses. It should also ideally name an Executor or estate administrator to carry out the instructions in the Will.
If a Last Will and Testament is that simple, you would think that a Will written in any jurisdiction would be accepted in any other jurisdiction, but unfortunately things are not as simply as that. Our partner websites at LegalWills.ca, USLegalWills.com and LegalWills.co.uk all offer interactive Will services that are very different from each other, even though the over-riding principles are the same. In fact, the Canadian and US services adapt the final document and help text across different States or Provinces.
This is one of our most frequently asked questions, but it can mean one of two things;
A. Can I sit down with a blank piece of paper and write my own Last Will and Testament?
B. Can I prepare my own legal Will without using a legal professional.
Let us first explore question A.
Can I write my own Last Will and Testament?
The answer is “yes….but don’t”. The basic requirements of a Will are simple;
- The document must be clearly identified as a Will, and that it is expressing your wishes.
- Ideally it should revoke (or cancel) previous Wills
- You must demonstrate that you have the capacity to make a Will
- You must sign it in the presence of two witnesses (unless the document is entirely handwritten in which case witnesses are usually not required). The witnesses cannot be beneficiaries, but can be any adults with mental capacity. No legal training is required in order to be a witness to the signing of the Will.
- The Will should describe the distribution of assets to beneficiaries
If all of these requirements are met, Continue reading