Reasons to update your estate plan as an American expat living in France

Living as an expatriate can bring many benefits, but it complicates matters related to your estate plan and assets. As an American living in France, it’s essential to regularly update your estate plan to account for your changed circumstances.  

Here are five reasons why: 

  1. Comply with French inheritance laws. French inheritance laws differ significantly from those in the U.S. By updating your estate plan, you can ensure your assets are distributed according to French and U.S. laws to avoid potential issues and complications. 
  2. Name an executor in France. Your original will likely name an executor who lives in the U.S. As an expat, you should name an executor who resides in France and is familiar with French laws and customs. 
  3. Account for foreign assets. Your assets likely include bank accounts, investments, and property in France. Your estate plan should specify how to distribute these foreign assets according to your wishes. 
  4. Avoid double taxation. Assets transferred to heirs after death may be subject to taxes in both the U.S. and France. Consulting a legal expert can help you modify your estate plan to minimize the double taxation of your assets and wealth. 
  5. Update beneficiary designations. Documents like life insurance policies, retirement accounts, and bank accounts rely on beneficiary designations, which you likely haven’t changed since moving abroad. Be sure to review and update these designations to reflect your current wishes and circumstances.

This communication is for informational purposes only and is not intended to constitute, and should not be construed as, investment advice, investment recommendations or investment research. You should seek advice from a professional adviser before embarking on any financial planning activity. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the information contained in this communication is correct, they are subject to change and we are not responsible for any errors or omissions. 

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