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32 | practical living

law&money << OUr experts answer YOur questions...

Money Matters

Q

We retired to France but plan on visiting our daughter and family before her wedding. We need to transfer money to our UK account to fund the wedding etc., what is the best solution for this?

A

When transferring money overseas, the first question that springs to mind is whether the exchange rate is favourable and more importantly, what exchange rate will you get for your payment. Whether you make a large or a small lump sum payment, the timing of it is crucial as markets respond to many factors, including political events, economic data or even the weather, and the exchange rates constantly fluctuate. For example, in the first quarter this year, the currency market has been very volatile, mainly due to Brexit negotiations, with the pound fluctuating as much as seven per cent. If you were buying British pounds and selling euros during this period, you would have seen a rate as low as 1.1031 and as high as 1.1706. As an illustration, on a €10,000 transfer to your daughter’s wedding planner, it would mean a difference of £523 – or a free five-tier wedding cake. This is where a currency broker with insight, knowledge and market expertise can make a difference by not only offering you competitive exchange rates

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but also providing guidance on the timing of your transaction. The benefit of organising your wedding finances in advance is that you could take advantage of the exchange rate when it is favourable, even if you don’t have the funds available: you can fix the exchange rate and schedule your payments for up to 12 months, using a forward contract. It means that your rate is guaranteed, even if the market moves against you. Moreover, a currency broker can help you even if you don’t have a sterling bank account to transfer the funds into as they can pay the beneficiaries, such as the wedding planner, on your behalf. These options are suitable, not only for wedding related costs, but also for a variety of lump sum payments such as a renovation work, the purchase of an asset like a car, or in case of a relocation. For a free quote or for updates about the currency market, please visit Audensa Financial website www. audensa.com or contact Virginie on +44 (0) 203 582 3957 or via e-mail: vm@audensa.com. Virginie Marin is a senior foreign exchange broker and co-founder of Audensa Financial, with 11 years’ experience in the FX industry. Audensa Financial is an FCA authorised currency broker, handling international payments for both private and corporate clients.

Succession Law

Q A

After Brexit, will my Will based on English law still be valid as I want to bequeath my estate to my wife only, not my children from my first marriage.

The uncertainty of Brexit has raised several concerns regarding estate planning for those who own properties in France or want to invest. Wills made abroad are valid in France, whether they were made one year ago or twenty. Many of you know that the succession law changed in 2015 with the passing of the European Succession law which applies across the E.U (except for England, Denmark and Ireland). However, the validity of a Will results from the 1961 Hague convention on the conflicts of laws relating to the form of testamentary dispositions. English Wills have always been valid in France and taken into consideration by Notaires to settle an estate. However, once the stipulations of the French civil code and the “reserve” were considered, English Wills did not always apply and were limited to the dispositions of French Law. Now, under the European succession law, a British national can elect English law to deal with the settlement of the estate and overcome French Law. As a result, children from a previous marriage can be disinherited. However, the election of English law must be expressly written in

your Will. Wills made before the 17th August 2015, the date the European succession law came into force, may not necessarily mention English law as the law applicable to the estate. It is likely that a Notaire may not apply the Will entirely and still consider the children’s rights under French Law. The Will must mention that English law applies in accordance with the stipulations of article 22 of the Regulation. Therefore, it is sensible to review the drafting of any Will that you made and ensure that it will have full effect in France although this is one area Brexit will not impact. Christophe Dutertre is a bilingual Frenchqualified Notaire with over 22 years’ experience, 15 of which were working in law offices in Monaco and with the banking industry in Luxembourg. FranceTaxLaw specialises in French and European notarial law and advises clients on all aspects of civil or tax law. www.francetaxlaw.com; tel: +44 (0)20 8115 7914; email: info@francetaxlaw.com

Profile for Living Magazine

Living Magazine April/May 19