A few years ago, a family member of mine moved from England out to Australia, and has decided they'll be there for good now. Before they moved, they had made a Will in England, which at the time was simple as they lived there and had all their stuff there. Now they've been out in Australia for a while, most of their finances are out there too, but some remain UK-based and likely always will be.

They're about to update their Will, and have received conflicting advice from Expat friends. Some people have told them to do one Will for their UK-based stuff left with a solicitor in the UK + a second Will for their Aussie stuff with someone out there. Others have said to just write one Australian will which breaks out what's in what country.

What's the situation when moving from one Common Law country to another WRT Wills? One in each country? One for where you live covering things everywhere? Special handling in all cases? Other?

  • 1
    I'm trying to think of a decent joke about Shakespeare, but I can't, so I'll just point out that "will" in this sense is not a proper name.
    – phoog
    Oct 5, 2016 at 12:02
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    @phoog In British-English at least, it's regularly used as one, even by solicitors themselves, see willaid.org.uk for one such example!
    – Gagravarr
    Oct 5, 2016 at 14:31
  • While this is not a comprehensive answer, hence the comment, Expat Legal Wills recommends that a will be executed in each country, as does this article in The Telegraph
    – Giorgio
    Oct 5, 2016 at 14:36
  • @Gagravarr lawyers in the US are also known for spurious capitalization. See gov.uk/wills-probate-inheritance.
    – phoog
    Oct 5, 2016 at 14:49
  • @Dorothy Those two mostly seem to focus on cases where there's either a language difference, or big differences in legal systems around inheritance, or both. Neither of those should apply to cases like UK-Australia
    – Gagravarr
    Oct 5, 2016 at 15:08


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