Q&A: We have purchased a property overseas. Do we need to update our Wills?

Q.  My partner and I bought a villa in Portugal which we intend to retire to.  We both made Wills several years ago and are still happy with them.  Do we need to update them as a result of buying the villa?

A.  It is always sensible to review your Will if your personal or financial circumstances change.  As you now own a foreign asset you should review your Wills.  The law and rules relating to what will happen to the villa when one or both of you die will vary depending on which country the villa is in, and may not necessarily be as you expect or indeed wish. 

In order to make things as simple as possible for your beneficiaries after your death it would be sensible to consider having a separate Will drawn up to deal with the villa and any other assets you might have in Portugal.  You will need to seek advice from a solicitor competent in Portuguese law.  At the same time, you will need to make sure that your Wills dealing with assets here in England are updated to synchronise with your Will relating to Portugal, to ensure that one Will does not mistakenly revoke the other, and that there is no later confusion after your deaths.

Jo Wild, Solicitor

This article was previously published in the Stamford Mercury.