Restructuring Property and Assets
Property and assets often need to be restructured to achieve estate planning and/or succession planning goals. Our private client lawyers are highly experienced in advising high net worth individuals and families as well as business owners on how to restructure their property for tax and succession purposes.
At TWS Legal Consultants, our lawyers are multi-lingual and proficient in Sharia and non-Sharia law. Our Legal Consultants are registered with the UK Solicitors Regulation Authority the Dubai Legal Affairs Department. We have a robust knowledge of UK and UAE law and how it applies to expatriates in the UAE. Having advised clients in property and asset restructuring matters for over a decade; you can have confidence that our lawyers will listen to your wishes and organise your affairs in a way that fulfils your objectives and protects your wealth.
TWS Legal Consultants is a fully digital law firm. We can organise appointments via video conferencing if this suits your needs.
What is the difference between estate and non-estate assets?
Before establishing whether particular property and/or assets need restructuring, we will clarify your estate and non-estate assets. Estate assets are assets which are in your name only, such as bank accounts, real estate, shares, bonds, boats, and cars. If you own property as a tenant in common, that property is also considered an estate asset. Non-estate assets are those that pass directly to others without going through the probate process. Under UK law, the most obvious example is if you own property as a joint tenant. When you die, the surviving joint tenant will inherit your share of the property automatically.
Why do I need to consider asset restructure for succession planning?
In the UAE, companies and family businesses usually adopt a bespoke corporate structure/DIFC Foundation. However, this can lead to significant problems if the structure has not been created properly regarding ensuring your business continues after your death because heirs cannot deal with assets until title transfers into their names. This can take considerable time as under Sharia law, all debts must be settled, and the rights of heirs must be determined before the estate can be distributed.
By seeking legal advice from our lawyers placing the assets into an offshore trust, or a corporate entity, they become non-estate assets and therefore delay is avoided.
Note: non-Muslim foreign nationals may wish to consider a DIFC Will to ensure their property is dispersed as per their Will, rather than Sharia Law principles.
Can I use property and asset restructuring for tax planning purposes?
Restructuring your assets by placing them into a trust or into a corporate entity (either onshore or offshore) can considerably reduce the taxes paid on your estate. Our lawyers will take the time to thoroughly review your situation and find out what success means to you. We are highly respected in the region for our estate planning expertise. You can be confident that by instructing us, you will be receiving the most up to date, robust estate planning advice available.
If you require legal advice related to restructuring property or assets, please contact one of our commercial law team at TWS Legal Consultants to make an appointment: