Having a Will is important - particularly when an expatriate!

It's hard to imagine a topic that manages to be both as dry and important at the same time as the preparation of a will - with the possible exception of life insurance. This comment is prompted by an excellent recent article in the Sydney Morning Herald entitled "Test of Wills".

That article focuses upon how the courts and legislation are beginning to intrude into an individual's ability to determine how their estate is distributed, but I think the lesson is how valuable good advice is in this area. This is particularly the case for expatriates where, in a separate article in Exfin, we make the point that expatriates with assets in a number of countries may be best served by having individual wills in each of these countries. Perhaps more importantly, you may need a local will to be absolutely sure that your children are properly provided for in the event of your death - not so much from a material standpoint, but to ensure that local authorities act quickly and efficiently to release them into the custody of designated family or friends.

In some ways it is understandable for young expatriates to place little emphasis on making a will, or wills, but once there are children involved it should be axiomatic that a will is prepared, and updated as required to reflect their current circumstances. Given the complex life of expatriates, I also feel confident in saying that the simple DIY wills available at newsagents and online should be avoided - it is a false economy.