International estate planning enables you and your family to get the most out of your assets whether you are based in Ireland and own assets overseas or you’re based overseas and own international assets. Effective international estate planning includes:
- Reducing tax liabilities
- Transferring wealth between countries
- Moving to a new country
- Changing your tax domicile (your permanent residence for tax purposes)
- Maintaining family control of assets
- Gifting capital and capital assets
- Creating income for family members based internationally
- Protecting assets for the future
- Succession planning
- Transferring wealth to family members pre- and post-death.
International taxation generally becomes an issue for estates if the deceased held assets outside of Ireland. Increased globalisation has made it easier to invest abroad, but this can create difficulties for succession and inheritance tax.
Ireland has two double taxation agreements in place in relation to inheritance/estate taxes - with the United States and the United Kingdom. However, if inheritance taxes arise in Ireland and in a jurisdiction outside of the United States or the United Kingdom because the assets are located in another country, the beneficiaries must rely on domestic legislative provisions to get any relief from double taxation.
Ireland’s inheritance tax legislation contains a unilateral relief provision, which provides relief on the payable foreign tax against the Irish inheritance if inheritance tax is payable in both Ireland and the other country.
When someone dies, the process of managing their estate is called probate. This covers managing their property, paying inheritance tax, and distributing inheritance. International or probate occurs when the deceased lived in one country but owned assets elsewhere. This applies to:
- Foreign nationals with assets in Ireland
- Irish nationals with assets abroad
- Expats with assets in Ireland
- People living in Ireland who are tax-domiciled overseas
The range of international laws and taxes means that international probate can be very complex and time-consuming. A detailed knowledge of international estate and tax law is required to successfully administer an international estate.
International Wealth Structuring
It is possible to grow and maintain your wealth wherever you hold it using efficient, legally compliant structures. An experienced solicitor can provide advice for managing your assets in different jurisdictions to comply with the different laws as efficiently and safely as possible. You may need help with:
- Planning how to transfer international wealth to the next generation
- Establishing and managing trusts, foundations, companies, and other structures in Ireland and overseas
- Protecting assets owned overseas
- Managing assets in case of divorce or family disputes
- Cross-border Irish tax advice