As 2020 comes to a close the most influential factor for British Expats and their European counterpart comes to a head, “Will there be a deal". I am not going to bore with with Brexit talk as we have had it for the last 4 years.
What I want to talk about is all those internationally issued Assurance Vie policies, you know, the ones from the likes of SEB Life International, Lombard International, Prudential International, Swiss Life and the list goes on. These assurance vie contracts won´t be affected by Brexit since these are regulated in Ireland & Luxemburg but, what about the underlying assets?
Now is the time to review your existing contracts to ensure that the underlying investment funds do not make the assurance vie contract void from a tax efficiency standpoint which is why most of you have them in the first place. Brexit brings this matter into the spotlight because many assurance vie policies would have been set up in GBP with GBP investment funds, so the question to ask is;
“Can these fund managers continue to market these funds to clients in the EU/EEA, and do these funds have the correct structure?"
Now, most ´good´ financial advisers would have already sorted this out for their clients ensuring their assurance vie contract remains fully compliant in accordance to French law however, ´good´ advisers are not always in supply.
Another interesting factor is to understand how your investments are affected by Brexit, most GBP assurance vie contract do still have an investment strategy that is somewhat UK centric, if you are one of those then I strongly suggest speaking with your adviser ASAP. Having lived in mainland Europe for over 11 years I have always adopted a more globally based investment approach for my clients, after all the UK only contributes 5% of the world´s GDP!
In summary as we close out the year just make sure you review the type of investments and the asset allocation of your Assurance Vie.