Matt and his wife moved from the UK to sunny Portugal years ago for retirement. They bought a lovely small house, by the sea and enjoyed everything Portugal had to offer. Unfortunately, Matt recently passed away without making his will in Portugal.
Now, their assets are frozen and his wife has no access to them!
Why are their assets locked down? Because there is a conflict of laws between the UK and Portugal. This conflict of laws – relevant to expats from every country means that there is confusion. Which country’s laws will apply to Matt’s estate? Will Portugal law apply, or the law from his home country?
Without a will made in Portugal, until it is determined which law to apply, and what the law of the home country requires, the assets are frozen. The process can take more than a year to unravel with the assets remaining unavailable until it is completed.
If you live in Portugal – even for just part of the year, have a will made. Wills in Portugal are fairly simple, and relatively inexpensive – and having one made will protect you from potential future problems.
This BLOG does not intend to be an exhaustive explanation of the procedures; For more information send us an email HERE.