What happens to your assets when you die?

What happens to your assets when you die?

You may see yourself as a free-spirited internationally mobile expat but it is a different matter when it comes to your assets.

While you may float from one jurisdiction to the next, your property, pensions, investments and savings accounts may remain moored in a specific place and could be subject to the local tax and inheritance regime.

This can be complicated enough while you are alive but things can get really tricky when you die. If you hold assets in multiple jurisdictions, your loved ones could face a complex, protracted and costly probate process when you die, on top of the heartache of losing you. Inheritance laws differ from country to country and can be highly complicated, with conflicting rules on who gets what.

This is why you need to plan for today, even if you are brimming with life and health. Also, with careful planning you can reduce any inheritance tax bill your family may incur when you die.

Many expats wrongly believe that assets in their home countries are exempt from local inheritance tax if they are resident in the UAE, but that isn't the case with property, which is usually taxed locally. You may be resident in the UAE but your domicile — your permanent home, or a country with which you have substantial links — may be elsewhere, giving you a tax liability there.

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