Owning Property Abroad
The ownership of a property, or 'time share', abroad has become increasingly widespread and more and more people are becoming attracted to the idea of their own "place in the sun" - whether as an investment, or to be used for holidays, or permanent occupation on retirement.
Ownership & Taxation
With specialist advice individuals can plan for and potentially avoid local administrative procedures, succession laws, and death duties, by structuring the ownership of property in the correct way. Before completing your purchase you should take advice on and consider the relative consequences of owning the property in your sole name, holding it in joint names with another individual, or transferring the property into the names of corporate nominees.
The tax treatment of foreign property depends upon your status as a tax payer and whether the property will be rented out in your absence, or reserved for your sole use. Treaties exist between countries to alleviate the potential for double taxation i.e. UK tax charged in respect of property when tax has already been incurred in the foreign jurisdiction. However, if you wish to avoid any unpleasant surprises, you should seek advice beforehand to ensure that the property is held in the most appropriate way.
The most popular countries (France, Spain, Portugal, Italy and the USA) all have very different rules as to how property can be owned and the tax treatment of owning property both during one's lifetime and on death. It is, therefore, advisable that the prospective purchaser takes advice from a lawyer who is not only qualified in the relevant country, but is comfortable with dealing with non nationals of that country and the cross-border issues that arise.
You may have used your own adviser to purchase the property. However, Adams & Remers can still be of assistance in ensuring that your English Will does not conflict with any arrangements that you have made abroad. For example, there are many cases where people have made an overseas Will, which has unintentionally revoked their English Will. Many foreign countries also restrict, by 'forced heirship' rules, the extent to which individuals can leave property as they want by their Will. Problems can be avoided by seeking sound advice in good time.
Adams & Remers has contacts qualified in most popular jurisdictions, (some of whom are based in England) who can advise on the most appropriate form of ownership of a property; both to mitigate property taxes and death duties, as well as ensuring that the property can be passed down the generations on death with as little difficulty as possible.
For further advice contact our team direct or talk to your usual contact in the firm.