Cross-border private client work is a largely underreported area of law, and yet it is one that is well worth knowing about. It affects millions of people around the world on a daily basis and can be the difference between someone’s last wishes being fulfilled, or lengthy and intractable legal proceedings engulfing all concerned.
In order to provide further insight, we have called upon the views of a number of experts in the field. Richard Frimston, Partner and Head of the Private Client Group at Russell Cooke, writes on international trusts, with Alberto Pérez Cedillo and David King providing articles on succession. Finally, Dr Timothy Lyons QC provides a practical overview of international private client tax law.
In focus: Clarification of the procedure for the division of assets in cross border formal relationships
The European Commission has recently announced that it is to proceed to formally adopting two new proposals which aim to clarify property regimes for international married couples and international registered partnerships, by way of enhanced co-operation procedure.
Differences between legal systems in EU Member States yield a considerable number of problems, particularly in matters of succession. The death of a European citizen outside their country of nationality raises the question of which law is applicable to their succession. The problem is exacerbated if that person owns property in territories of two or more EU Member States.
This article covers the right to the grant and determining the validity of a deceased’s will in light of ‘Brussels IV’ (the Regulation). Although the UK has opted out of the Regulation, it still affects all of those assets in states which have implemented it, regardless of the citizenship or place of death of the deceased, even if they have no connection to those States.
Cross-border taxation is no longer the exotic concern of a relatively limited number of individuals. It’s a standard part of the private client practitioner’s work. Domestic tax law, the laws of the EU, the activities of international bodies such as the OECD and the impact of international treaties all have to be taken into account.