Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Why a willmaker’s domicile may trigger a step back in time**

Where a person is domiciled is one of the more difficult and potentially frustrating areas of the law.

A key reason the issue can be so problematic is due to the rules in relation to ‘conflict of laws’ – that is determining which rules apply when there are two or more potential jurisdictions in relation to a certain set of circumstances.

The conflict of laws regime is inherently problematic and one of the most highly specialised of all legal disciplines.

In very broad terms, a person is domiciled where 'their heart calls home'. This means that they need not necessarily be physically located there or indeed have any assets in that particular jurisdiction.

The issue of domicile can arise in a number of situations.

In an estate planning context however, most of the complex issues in relation to domicile only arise in situations where people die without a will (i.e. intestate).

One of the first steps therefore that should be looked at as part of an estate plan where the place of domicile may become an issue is to at least get in place temporary estate planning documents as a matter of urgency.

As usual, please contact me if you would like access to any of the content mentioned in this post.

** for the trainspotters, the title today is riffed from the Kylie Minogue song 'Step back in time'.

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