Probably one of the most useful services that we can provide is our 'Preliminary Meeting'. Increasingly, clients recognise the value of discussing their affairs at the earliest possible opportunity. Early advice almost always saves quite a lot of money and even more stress and aggravation. Our network of members and our shared use of technology means that we can arrange for a preliminary meeting with exactly the right mix of advisors to deal with your particular problem. In most cases we will start with a meeting (face to face, by telephone or by video conference call) with one of the members of staff of Interlaw. This meeting will typically take an hour and a half and it will be followed up by a brief written report. If it becomes apparent in that meeting that other input is required then this can be arranged, often immediately or (if this is not possible) by way of a second meeting. The aim of our preliminary meetings is to identify your problem, establish the key facts relating to it and to explain to you your options, the likely outcome and the cost and timescale involved.
Property Investment Advice
Certain of our members have, for many years, been giving advice to clients about which countries, places and types of property might best suit their personal requirements as far as international property is concerned. There is no 'one size fits all' when it comes to making this choice. What is right for you will depend upon your age financial situation, time scale, personal preferences, attitude to risk etc. There is now a huge range of property around the world being marketed to international investors and we can use our unrivaled experience of international property to help you pick your best options. This service is greatly appreciated by our clients.
Dealing with an inheritance
It is bad enough when your parents die and they live just down the road. It can be much more complicated if they live in or simply have property in, say, Spain in this case. The laws are different, the tax system is different and you don't know who to turn to. Local lawyers will understand the local system but probably won't understand the way in which that system interacts with the system in your country. As a result, you can waste a lot of money or pay far too much tax.
International Tax Advice
If you live or work in another country, if you intend to live or work in another country or if you have a holiday home or investments in another country you will need to understand the tax system of that country. You will need to file tax returns and you will probably want to minimise your tax obligations, both during your lifetime and on your death. You will need good tax advice. Giving that advice requires an understanding of the tax laws in the country in question AND in your own country. There is no point in saving tax in (say) France only to find that the steps you have taken greatly increase your obligations in (say) the U.K. International tax advice is an integral part of many of the cases that our members deals with on a day to day basis.
Buying property in a foreign country is much more complicated than buying at home. When you buy at home you have probably done so at least once before and you will be familiar with the general framework of your own legal and tax systems. You will also speak the language! When you buy abroad, neither of these things may be true. Yet buying a property abroad can offer superb investment and lifestyle opportunities. Structuring the purchase properly can save you large amounts of tax and aggravation. Making sure that all of the right checks are carried out and that the property is safe to buy can save you both lots of money and sleepless nights. To buy a property safely you need specialist advice from someone thoroughly familiar with the legal and tax system in the country where the property is located AND the legal and tax system in the country where you live. It is the interaction of those systems that produces many of the biggest problems and the biggest opportunities for saving money. Our solicitors can provide you with this invaluable service.
Civil Court Cases
Disputes with neighbours. Disputes with builders. Disputes over contracts. In short, any sort of dispute that does not involve a criminal law or family problems. To deal with these problems you need expert assistance from somebody who is familiar with the law of the country in question but who is also familiar with the law in your own country so that they can explain to you, in terms that you will understand, the procedures and options available in relation to the problems that you face. Our members will be able to help you deal with these problems. Wherever possible we will try to find solutions or to reach a settlement that avoids the need to go to court in the first place.
If you are the owner of a property overseas, if you live or work overseas or if you have other connections with another country it is very often a good idea to prepare a Will relating to that country. You will then also need to modify your existing English or other Will. You will also need to make sure that both are structured in the most tax efficient manner and, most importantly, that they do not contradict each other. Let us guide you through this vital process.