International Estate Planning

International Estate Planning Solicitors London

Living and working in an increasingly international community means more people than ever own property and other assets abroad. Osbornes Law have a sophisticated international estate planning team working alongside international lawyers to protect our clients’ global assets.


  • “Incredibly dedicated and committed to her clients. She can do both the non-contentious and contentious sides very, very well.”

  • “Jan Atkinson stands out for her wide-ranging knowledge and experience of estates; whatever problem you throw at her, she has seen it all before and is able to find a creative and sustainable solution.”

Expert International estate planning lawyers

International estate planning is important for anyone owning foreign assets – whether you are an individual who has a holiday home in Europe or you’re a high-net-worth entrepreneur with global business interests and properties. The last thing you want is to be faced with unexpected and unwelcome taxation and inheritance rules in another country. 

Why consider international estate planning? 

Effective estate planning involves considering each asset you own and looking at how the rules of the relevant country may apply. With assets and business interests outside of the UK, there may be complicated cross-border succession and taxation issues that need special consideration to ensure your goals can be met.

The expert international estate planning lawyers at Osbornes have significant exposure to clients owning foreign assets, including in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, India, Singapore, Hong Kong, USA, Brazil, Argentina and beyond. Our clients are British nationals, UK-based foreign nationals, ex-pats and non-doms. 

We provide a tailored strategy

Robust estate planning and wealth structuring for clients owning cross-border assets is a complex business requiring detailed technical knowledge of local laws and regulations. This includes how succession, forced heirship and inheritance tax rules apply in a given jurisdiction and how they may conflict with UK rules. It may also be necessary to consider how the EU Succession Regulation may impact clients.

We, therefore, work closely with local lawyers in different jurisdictions, as well as chartered tax advisers and other professionals, to achieve the most effective mechanisms to protect clients’ assets and interests.

Our approach to each client is holistic; we strive to understand the full extent of your unique financial circumstances and foreign holdings, then we consider your specific priorities and goals.

Only then will we develop a bespoke strategy that utilises the rules in the relevant jurisdictions alongside English rules to best protect your assets and estate.

Common issues that arise in international estate planning include:

Succession planning

Succession rules in different jurisdictions vary quite significantly and it is important to understand how they may interact in your case. We help clients ensure that ownership and the transfer of foreign assets and business interests are structured in the most tax-efficient way to protect future generations.

Tax mitigation

A key objective in estate planning is to minimise the potential income and capital gains tax; and the inheritance tax liability on death. Owning global assets means you ought to consider how the tax rules in the relevant jurisdiction apply – and what you can do reduce your tax bill. It may also be advisable to take steps to change your tax domicile to make your international wealth more tax efficient. We can advise you on the domicile and deemed domicile rules.

Family disputes

The need to control cross-border assets can arise during a relationship or family breakdown. We advise clients in what can be distressing and difficult situations to protect their control and ownership of assets held in their name.

Cross-border wills

A will is one of the best ways to safeguard your wealth and your family. Owning foreign assets means it may be desirable to have a foreign will, in addition to an English will, to protect your cross-border assets. In some cases, a ‘worldwide will’ will suffice. Our specialists will advise you on the merits of having multiple wills to ensure your inheritance goals are achieved in accordance with applicable local laws.


Setting up a trust can prove highly effective in protecting assets and providing for your family. A robust trust can provide a regular income for your loved ones and can effectively ring-fence your assets for tax purposes, saving potentially significant sums of money.

Alternative structures

There are other holding vehicles that can achieve a similar objective to trust structures, including family investment companies, family limited partnerships and foundations with the aim of keeping assets within, for example, the control of your family or to benefit a charity – or even to protect assets from confiscation.

Protecting elderly clients’ assets

We have an empathetic team that is experienced in protecting the elderly and vulnerable who own assets abroad and need help managing their finances. These are delicate situations and can become quite complex, but with specialist help, we can assist family members who are concerned about protecting their loved one’s cross-border wealth.

Make a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)

It’s never too early to appoint attorneys under an LPA to make decisions about your property and finances if you lose mental capacity. But whether it will be acceptable in another jurisdiction depends on its own laws. Therefore, it might also be prudent to appoint attorneys using the equivalent of an LPA in the relevant country in case the need arises and the English LPA is not accepted. We can also advise on whether a power of attorney made abroad can be ratified and used in England.

Owning property and other assets in other countries gives rise to complex legal and tax considerations and it is wise to take specialist legal advice. Wherever you are based, we can assist.

Speak to a lawyer today

For a free initial conversation call 020 7485 8811

Email us Send us an email and we’ll get back to you

    • "I wish to thank you for your advice, efficiency and professionalism throughout which has been greatly appreciated."

      Client review

    • "I am proud to be a private client of Osbornes Solicitors LLP, a client of many years. I appreciate the swift and efficient work of the Private Client Department Team."


    • "Jan Atkinson, with her steely, steady, calming presence, instils confidence in the most highly-strung of us clients. With her masterful knowledge of the law, old and new, and its application, Jan can navigate through the most complex of cases to a successful end."

      Legal 500 2021

    • "I find Osbornes’ client-friendly approach welcoming and refreshing"

      Legal 500 2021

    • "A medium-sized London firm dealing with big litigation and doing it extremely well because of a depth of expertise and experience."

      Legal 500 2021

    • My family had the pleasure of Jan Atkinson working with us on the will and probate issues of [my mother's] estate in Camden and Ireland after she passed on last year. Jan and her assistant(s) offered us a fantastic service at a sad time.

      Client Review

    • "Jan Atkinson stands out for her wide-ranging knowledge and experience of estates; whatever problem you throw at her, she has seen it all before and is able to find a creative and sustainable solution. She has exceptional commitment to her clients and explores every avenue to find the best solution for them"

      Legal 500 2021 - Jan Atkinson

    • The team is very caring, experienced and detailed and was clear about the  next steps and offered very helpful advice and suggestions

      Legal 500

    • Jan Atkinson has extensive experience in private client matters, which underpins her excellent skills in the contentious probate area. Plus she is strong on international matters

      Legal 500 2020 - Jan Atkinson

    • A small but formidable team, punching above its weight. Jan Atkinson is a seasoned pro. Approachable but no push-over

      Legal 500 2020 - Jan Atkinson

    • "They are an outstanding firm to work with. They are consistently impressive in their work."

      Chambers UK

    • "Elspeth Neilson is very reliable and practical."

      The Legal 500

    • "The team frequently deals with cross-border estates for high–net-worth individuals."

      The Legal 500

    • "The team were extremely professional in putting my needs first. There was a joined-up approach to catering for the client, and all lawyers involved were briefed and constructive."

      Chambers UK

    • The situation was handled by your extremely competent, efficient hands - I would not hesitate to recommend Osbornes to others.

      Wills, Probate and Disputed Estate Client

    • "Service prompt and effective. I have absolute confidence in Maggie."

      Wills, Probate & Disputed Estates Client

    • I am happy with the service that I got and would recommend you to other potential clients.

      Wills, Probate & Disputed Estates Client

    • I found Osbornes always very helpful and efficient.

      Wills, Probate & Disputed Estates Client

    • We are very pleased with the services of Osbornes. Highly professional and through with close attention to detail.

      Wills, Probate & Disputed Estates Client

    • I would highly recommend Jan Atkinson in any probate matter and Osbornes Solicitors in any other legal matters.

      Wills, Probate & Disputed Estates Client

    • Jan Atkinson is a very proficient lady whom I would highly recommend to anyone involved in probates.

      Wills, Probate & Disputed Estates Client

    • Thanks for all your work and explaining everything so clearly. For any legal matters in the future I would not hesitate in instructing Osbornes.

      Wills, Probate & Disputed Estates Client

    • We have found your service to date as the most informative we have come across.

      Wills, Probate & Disputed Estates Client

    • Osbornes Solicitors always responded promptly to any request for information I had.

      Wills, Probate & Disputed Estates Client

    • “Geoffrey’s affairs were dealt with just the right combination of friendliness and professionalism, which really helped.”


      Wills, Probate & Disputed Estates Client

    • Jan Atkinson is confident with a straightforward approach. Her practice covers both contentious and non-contentious matters, including wealth planning and estate administration.

      Chambers UK

    • I would like to thank everyone in my case for the excellent job!

      Wills, Probate & Disputed Estates client


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    Speak to a lawyer today

    For a free initial conversation call 020 7485 8811

    Email us Send us an email and we’ll get back to you