Most people do not like thinking about death and the effects it has on those they leave behind. At Europa Trust Company Ltd. we can help support you to create a Will that ensures your loved ones are taken care of. A well-written Will provides instructions of your final wishes for those closest to you.
Why draft a will?
Whether we hold assets on behalf of the beneficial owner(s) or act as Statutory Officers, we strongly recommend that there is a Will in place giving us instructions on how to proceed in the event of the beneficial owner(s) death.
In order for a company that holds assets to continue existing upon the death of its beneficial owner, it needs to maintain its good standing with the Registrar of Companies and the Tax Office. This requires filing statutory documents. Companies that fail to do this risk incurring penalties, being struck off by the Registrar, and the assets passing to the Crown (in other words the State).
A Will can avoid unforeseen events as well as avoid costly and lengthy disputes, during which time the company risks incurring statutory penalties and being struck off.
A well-written Will can reduce family disputes, ensure business continuity and make sure that your final instructions are carried-out.
“I already have a Will. Do I need a Gibraltar Will?”
Shares in a company are regarded as movable property and are located at the place of the registry. Shares and beneficial ownership (i.e. where we are nominees) are therefore, located in Gibraltar. Your assets are in Gibraltar, regardless of where the assets registered in the name of the company (e.g. a house or bank account) may be located.
The Gibraltar Will deals specifically and only with the ownership of the company (i.e. the shares or beneficial interest). If a client has a foreign Will, then that Will, will need to need to be lodged with the Supreme Court of Gibraltar.
If it is not an English Will (i.e. under the law of England & Wales), then the Will and the law applicable to it will need to be proved to the court. This might involve a foreign lawyer having to produce evidence and explain the foreign law. This will likely cause delays, complications and incur costs for the family at a very difficult time. Therefore, it is preferable to have a Gibraltar Will, which deals only with the Gibraltar assets.
“What shall I do if I want to draft a Will?”
Europa Trust Company Ltd. offers a confidential Will drafting service to our clients. An experienced and professional member of our Team can guide and support you through the drafting of your unique Will.
“What information should I provide?”
The following information is required in order to start drafting a Will:
- The wishes of the beneficial owner of how the assets are to be distributed upon their death.
- The names, addresses, nationalities and passport numbers of all heirs.
- If there is more than one heir, the percentage distribution between them.
- OPTIONAL; We recommend making provisions for a contingency heir(s) in case the first choice heir(s) predeceases the beneficial owner.
Are letters of wishes acceptable?
In case of a dispute, a letter of wishes may not be accepted by the courts as a legal document. Courts very rarely allow Wills to be contested and a well-written Will can limit family disputes.
Under Gibraltar Law, the assets of a deceased person can only be transferred successfully by a document which satisfies the full criteria of a Will.
Where shall I store my Will?
A Will is an important legal document and we recommend that you store it either with a Notary or with us.
We offer a confidential Will drafting service to our clients, as well as a safekeeping service. Europa Trust Company Ltd will help you update or create a secure Will for your needs and give you the lasting dignity to those closest to you.