Euthanasia and Domicile
Domicile Can be Affected if You Travel to Another Country for Euthanasia Purposes
Imagine a scenario where an individual born in the UK, to UK parents, relocated to Cyprus intending to live here permanently and claim to have a Domicile of Choice of Cyprus.
In such a situation, assuming such Domicile of Choice would indeed be acceptable in due course to HMRC, the person's estate would only be liable to UK inheritance tax to the extent that their assets actually in the UK exceeded the current threshold of £325,000.
Subsequent to moving to Cyprus, the person becomes terminally ill and the individual decides to travel to Switzerland to 'take advantage' of euthanasia in order to end their life.
By leaving Cyprus for Switzerland with the sole intention of carrying out assisted suicide, Cyprus ceases to be their Domicile of Choice. For Switzerland to become their new Domicile of Choice, they would need to satisfy Swiss tax residence requirements.
However, in such a scenario as set out above, the individual is merely visiting to die and will not have met the necessary criteria to qualify for Swiss residency. Accordingly, it would appear that as they have lost their Cypriot Domicile of Choice, their Domicile of Origin kicks back in and they are potentially liable for UK inheritance tax on their worldwide assets.
For further advice on this complicated topic, please contact our friendly team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or you can call us on 26 600780.