Written on March 6, 2013 – 8:28 am | by Paul Fensom
As they say the world is becoming a smaller place to live; people are simply more mobile than ever before. This is especially true for the international high-net-worth individuals group. By way of context Canada’s Immigrant Investor Program had a backlog as high as 85,000 in 2012.
This trend translates into another level of complexity for both Estate planners and administrators. In addition to being aware of the citizenship and tax residency of the client, the location of their assets is also required. International estate planning requires an analysis of property rights, inheritance and succession rights, and conflicts of law.
RBC released a report which investigated certain behaviours of the internationally mobile individual. For the purposes of their survey an internationally-mobile wealth individual (IMWI) was someone who lives, works, or spends more than half their time outside their country of birth and have investable assets of at least US$1 million.
• Looking at how they plan to transfer their wealth:
o 32.5% plan to leave enough assets to their family so they are comfortable but still need to work
o 25% plan to leave all their wealth to their family
o 20% plan to leave a significant amount to charity but the majority to their family
o 12.5% plan to leave enough assets to their family so they don’t have to work
o 5% plan to leave the majority of their estate to charity
o 5% don’t have any estate planning goals, though 88% have a will in place, 33% a trust and 3% a foundation.
I find it interesting that the vast majority do have Wills and a relatively large percentage of this group makes use of Trusts.