Adviser Corner
Webinar Recap
March 20, 2024

Estate & Succession Planning Strategies for Expats In The UAE

Utilising professional guidance to benefit from regional differences when estate planning as an expat in the UAE.

To ensure you maximise your international status, it is essential for expats to consider the long-term implications of their financial affairs. Estate planning as an expat in the UAE in particular, plays a crucial role in ensuring that assets are protected and transferred efficiently to future generations.

Life as an expat presents multiple opportunities for personal and professional growth. However, exploring new horizons can often lead to a ‘holiday mindset’ and future planning being placed on the backburner. David Neville, Financial Planner at Skybound Wealth, examines the importance of estate planning for expats in countries such as The UAE what you need to consider, the benefits and the pitfalls of not planning ahead.

Understanding The Legal Landscape When Estate Planning As An Expat In The UAE

Estate planning laws vary significantly across jurisdictions, encompassing diverse legal frameworks influenced by civil law, common law, and local regulations. Expats must bear in mind the intricacies of not only the legal systems where they currently reside, but also where they intend to move to next to ensure compliance and efficacy in their estate plans.

Understanding the distinction between country of residence and domicile is paramount, as it can significantly impact inheritance laws, tax obligations, and the administration of the estate. By seeking professional guidance and staying informed about legal nuances, expatriates can effectively safeguard their assets for future generations.


Crafting a Comprehensive Estate Plan

At the heart of any estate plan lies the will - a legal document that outlines how assets should be distributed upon an individual's death. It is advisable that wills are drafted in every jurisdiction where assets are held, to mitigate potential legal pitfalls. Expats must carefully consider the composition of their estate, which may include real estate holdings, investment portfolios, business interests, and personal possessions. Moreover, establishing guardianship arrangements for minor children is paramount, ensuring their well-being and care in the absence of parents.

Life Insurance

Life insurance plays a pivotal role when estate planning as an expat in countries such as the UAE, offering financial security and reassurance for loved ones in unforeseen circumstances. By including life insurance policies as part of a robust estate plan, individuals can ensure that their beneficiaries receive a lump sum payment upon their passing, providing immediate liquidity to cover expenses and maintain their standard of living. Additionally, life insurance can be used strategically to offset potential inheritance tax liabilities in their home country, or equalise inheritances among beneficiaries. Moreover, for expats with significant debt or business interests, life insurance can serve as a valuable tool for debt repayment or business succession planning, preserving assets and protecting family legacies. By integrating life insurance into their estate plans, individuals can enhance their overall financial resilience and safeguard their loved ones' future.

Protecting Vulnerable Assets

Protecting assets and optimising wealth management are critical components of estate planning for expats in the UAE. This involves establishing robust structures such as trusts to shield assets from risks, ensure efficient succession planning, and facilitate intergenerational wealth transfer. Trusts offer a flexible mechanism for asset protection and distribution, allowing expatriates to safeguard their assets while providing for beneficiaries in accordance with their wishes. Similarly, family offices provide a centralised platform for managing investments, tax planning, and philanthropic activities, offering greater control and oversight on financial affairs. By implementing these strategic frameworks, individuals can mitigate risks, optimise tax efficiency, and preserve their wealth for future generations. However, the suitability and effectiveness of these structures may vary depending on individual circumstances and jurisdictional considerations.

Cross-Border Considerations

International workers often have ties to multiple jurisdictions, raising cross-border considerations when estate planning for expats in the UAE. Whether managing assets in offshore accounts, investing in international markets, or contemplating relocation, expats must address the implications of different legal systems, tax regimes, and currency fluctuations. Collaborating with advisers experienced in international estate planning can help expatriates optimise their structures and minimise potential pitfalls.

Ultimately, estate planning for expats in the UAE requires a tailored approach that accounts for regional differences and individual circumstances. By understanding the legal landscape, crafting a comprehensive estate plan, and implementing sophisticated wealth preservation strategies, expats can protect their assets and provide for their loved ones with confidence and peace of mind. However, it's crucial to recognise that certain structures may only work in specific jurisdictions, underscoring the importance of seeking professional advice tailored to individual needs and circumstances. With expert guidance, expats can navigate the complexities of estate planning and secure a brighter financial future for themselves and their loved ones.

Book A Call With David Today

Get In Touch Today

About David Neville

Based in the UAE, David is a U.K. qualified financial planner with first-hand experience of both living and working as an expatriate in mainland Europe and the Middle East, meaning he is perfectly placed to help you understand the challenges and opportunities you are likely to face whilst working overseas.

Whether it be arranging a wealth protection policy, or conducting a complimentary investment review, David takes the time to understand your objectives and build a bespoke plan to help your future dreams become reality.

Written By
David Neville
Financial Adviser
No items found.

Share this article

Request A Call Back

To find out more about this topic and more, please fill in the form below to arrange a call back.

Access Full Recording

To access a full recording of the webinar, please fill in the form below. You will be able to play the video straight away, plus we'll email you a link to the video.

By completing this form, you are consenting to receive email or telephone communication from Skybound Wealth Management, in accordance with our Privacy Policy.
Skybound Wealth right arrow icon yellow
Thank you!
Your message has been received and we will arrange for a member of our team to contact you via email or phone to discuss your enquiry.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form
By completing this form, you are consenting to receive email or telephone communication from Skybound Wealth Management, in accordance with our Privacy Policy.
Thank you! Enjoy the webinar.
The webinar recording is available to watch above and we will email you a link shortly, so you watch at your leisure.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form

Talk To An Adviser

You can reach us directly by calling us between the hours of 8:30am and 5pm at each of our respective offices and we will immediately assist you.

Request A Call Back

By completing this form, you are consenting to receive telephone communication from Skybound Wealth Management, in accordance with our Privacy Policy.
Skybound Wealth phone icon yellow
Thank you!
Your call back request has been received and we will arrange for a member of our team to call you at your desired time.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form