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Offshore Wills: When are they necessary?

Whether or not an offshore Will is necessary, an assessment of the testator’s Estate with specific regard to the following will have to have to be done:

  • Type of offshore assets the testator owns i.e. Are they immovable property or investment accounts;
  • Where the offshore assets are located;
  • Regulations of the country in which the offshore assets are located;
  • Who takes care and administers the foreign assets and/or investments?

Not having a foreign Will may lead to delays in the winding up process of the Estate and also have negative tax implications on the Estate.

Where there is immovable property it is advisable that an offshore Will be executed in terms of the law of that country.

Where the only offshore assets are investments it is not necessarily important to have an offshore Will as these may be incorporated and dealt with in the local Will with relative ease subject to certain circumstances.


Key Takeaway: It may on occasion be necessary to have a local and offshore Will where the individual has assets offshore.