An interesting article in The Telegraph recently discussed new legislation which will potentially give Britons with a European holiday home more freedom in terms of how these assets are recorded in their Will.
Prior to the legislation being passed, a person who lived in England but also held Spanish assets would have been advised to make an English Will to deal with their UK assets, with an additional Spanish Will to deal with their overseas assets. However, the introduction of the new Brussels IV legislation means that it is no longer necessary to make a separate Spanish Will in this instance. Instead, the individual would require a new type of UK Will that covers everything including foreign assets.
The article goes on to explain that due to Spain’s forced heirship laws, the home would have had to be left to specific family members. The law varies from region to region but in most places in Spain at least two-thirds of the holiday home would have had to be left to any children the individual might have. The new legislation is set to be introduced in August and will dramatically change this approach as British citizens will now be able to elect for UK law to apply to their Spanish assets instead. The election needs to be made in a Will but this can be a UK document rather than a Spanish one.
The position is less straightforward if an individual is domiciled in England but is not a British citizen. However, even the new legislation gives them the opportunity to elect their national law instead of Spanish law; this information can still be made in a UK Will.
What are your opinions on this legislation? Will it make it easier for overseas assets like holiday homes to be recorded in a UK Will?