Expat Finance 101: 10 Reasons You Should Have a Will

You have probably been told on numerous occasions that you should have a Will.

Indeed, doing so may have been on your mental to-do list for months or years.

However, you haven’t yet gotten around to it. This may just be due to the hustle and bustle of day-to-day expat life. It may be that you aren’t really sure how to get started.

Nonetheless, making a Will is one of the most important things we can do.

Here are 10 reasons why:

  1. To make sure that your loved ones are looked after.
  1. Ensure that your money goes where you want it to go.
  1. If you have children and don’t nominate a guardian in your Will, the decision will be made by a court. This could mean that someone that you would not have chosen could raise your children.
  1. To make sure that you don’t end up paying more tax than you need to. A Will can be a valuable tool when mitigating inheritance tax.
  1. A Will reduces the chance of a dispute over your wishes.
  1. Protect your partner. If you are not married or in a civil partnership, your partner won’t have an automatic right to inherit.
  1. Safeguard your family home. If you have specific wishes about who inherits your home, outlining this in a Will can save the risk of dispute.
  1. If you want to leave everything to your spouse. If you have children and you die without having made a Will, then your husband or wife will not automatically inherit your whole estate. Instead, they automatically inherit the first £270,000 of value in the estate and half of the remainder. Your children receive the other half of the remainder.
  1. Leave money to charity. Once you have provided for your loved ones, you may want to leave a gift to a cause that means something to you.
  1. Peace of mind. 

* The above is based on England and Wales law. You should also check the rules with regard to Wills and inheritance in your current country of residence.

Further reading

EU Succession Regulation: What is it and how does it affect UK expats?

How does UK inheritance tax work when a spouse is non-domiciled?

Talk about it

To find out how we can help you put your financial affairs in order, get in touch. Email contact@rossnaylor.com.


Every week, I send out a short email to British expats who are approaching or considering retirement.

I use it to answer common (and not-so-common) questions that they have about pensions and investments.

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About Ross

▪️Ross has been a financial adviser for the past 26 years.

▪️He specialises in working with British expats over age 50 who are looking to optimise their finances for retirement.

▪️He is qualified as a financial adviser both in the UK, as a Chartered Financial Planner®, and in the EU, as a European Financial Planner®.

▪️Ross has been an expat himself for 22 years and currently lives in Warsaw, Poland with his wife and 2 children.