Do you have assets located in Australia and also in a foreign country? If you have migrated to Australia from a foreign country, have you left any valuable property behind in that country, or is it possible that you might acquire property there, for example if your relatives die and leave you an inheritance? If so, you may need to consider whether you need to have more than one Will. There are a few simple reasons to consider doing this, including:
- Simplifying administration. There are costs associated with selling assets and transferring the funds from one country to another. Example: you could leave your apartment in Hong Kong to your brother and your collection of luxury cars in Australia to your sister, instead of all assets being sold, all of the money being gathered in one place, and then distributed to your beneficiaries.
- Avoiding bureaucracy. The probate authority in each country will want to see your original Will. In Western Australia, for example, when a Will is submitted for probate, the original document is kept by the Probate Office. If you only have one Will, but assets in multiple countries, this may cause difficulties for your executor.
- Taxation. Different countries treat deceased estates differently in terms of taxation. There may be an overall savings or a penalty depending on where your estate is collected and administered. Irving Law does not provide taxation advice. This is something you should consider in consultation with your financial adviser.
If you have assets both in Australia and in another country, Irving Law can prepare your Australian Will so that it applies only to assets located in Australia, or, if you prefer, to assets located anywhere in the world except in the other country. You could then have a second Will drawn up under the other country’s laws, to deal with your assets located there.
Reference source: Charles Rowland, Hutley’s Australian Will Precedents (7th ed, 2009), Chapter 3.