Guest Blog | Estate Planning for Ex-Pats

Amanda Hamilton, CEO of National Association of Licensed Paralegals
Amanda Hamilton

This is a Guest Blog from Finders International, the award-winning probate researchers. You can find out more about their services at


Estate Planning for Ex-Pats


Differences in the law can make both estate planning very tricky for ex-pats and those charged with administering or executing their estates.

iExpats website —the investment advice company for ex-pats— points out that often the deceased’s last wishes are not respected and the people that they wanted to benefit from their estates do not get what they expected. This can result in financial hardship or worries about paying bills. 

So what can ex-pats do to ease financial concerns for their families and loved ones when they pass?

When estate planning in the country the ex-pat lives in, he or she needs to consider how the law treats wills in that country. 


Different legal requirements

The law is different between the UK and many European nations, such as France and Spain, which are popular destinations for Brits. The UK rules on wills and estate planning differ considerably from those in most of Asia and the Middle East. 

Ex-pats should speak to an expert in each country where they own property, investment, have cash or other assets before estate planning to ensure their wishes can be followed. If you die without leaving a will, this means your assets in whatever country will be distributed according to the laws of that country.

Finders International offers a number of services which help sell, transfer or recover overseas assets such as shares, investment portfolios and bank accounts, helping to bring assets back to an estate. 


Liquid assets

Services include offshore grants and reseals, as UK estates are increasingly made up of overseas liquid assets, such as shares in other countries, bank accounts abroad or in Jersey, the Isle of Man or Gibraltar. We work with associates to obtain offshore grants and reseals quickly and effectively.

In a recent case, we were able to recover shares for the granddaughter of a man who’d unwittingly become an investor in an overseas company. The man did not know that his original shares in an international conglomerate had been de-listed from the London Stock Exchange and were now only listed in Hong Kong.

When the man’s granddaughter researched what she needed to do to sell the shares she’d inherited, she found the process off-putting because of its complexity, and law firms in Hong Kong quoted her expensive prices for the cost of the reseal.

Louise Levene, Finders International’s international assets services manager, said: “We were able to tell the man’s granddaughter that we work with partners in Hong Kong, and we would be able to take care of the paperwork and complete the resealing. We were able to quote her a fixed all-in price, and the woman was able to use the proceeds of the sales of her grandfather’s shares to finish her postponed Master’s degree.”  


Finders International trace missing beneficiaries to estates, properties and assets. For more information, please visit our website.  Alternatively, you can telephone us on +44(0) 20 7490 4935 or email us at

Amanda Hamilton, CEO of National Association of Licensed Paralegals
Amanda Hamilton

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