The combination of the economic impact of the pandemic, the lengthy lockdown, the ongoing financial and market issues connected to Brexit and the conflict in Eastern Europe have resulted in inevitable adverse commercial repercussions that are leading British nationals to consider a complete change of lifestyle by relocating to European countries such as Spain, always popular with the British, Portugal, another long-time favourite, Italy, with one of the best cuisines in the world and France, Britain's closest neighbour.

Each country has different considerations when buying property. However, there is no reason that buying a house in Europe need be any more complicated than buying a property in the UK providing you have expert legal guidance through the legal procedures involved in house purchase, the visas required and succession issues.   Giambrone and Partners highly qualified lawyers both in our European offices and our UK offices have many years' experience in advising British nationals moving to Europe.

Giorgio Bianco, a partner, commented "the purchase of a house is the largest investment and is the biggest financial outlay that that most individuals will ever make.  It is vitally important that an expert lawyer that specialises in real estate in the country of choice is appointed to advise and guide them through the process. Few people can withstand financial losses on this scale should there be any problems." Giorgio further commented "for most people, having made such a big decision to relocate their family or just themselves to another country, wish to be sure that all aspects of their move is as risk-free as possible with avoidable problems, such as inadequate documentation to support an application for a visa, identified and resolved at an early stage. Our specialist English speaking lawyers will be by your side throughout the entire procedure. Giambrone & Partners is exhibiting at the property exhibition Place in the Sun, London  on the 2-4 June at Olympia in London.where our  real estate, immigration and inheritance lawyers can answer all your questions surrounding relocation to Europe"

There is a wide selection of types of property available in each country, from small houses in remote villages, apartments in heritage buildings, villas, farmhouses, even small castles and other historical properties covering an extensive variety of architectural styles and environments. There are differences in the process of house purchase in each country which our highly knowledgeable lawyers can explain and guide you through.  Our lawyers are able undertake meticulous due diligence in each country, which is  absolutely imperative to avoid buying a property with legal irregularities. 

Giambrone and Partners' immigration lawyers can provide legal guidance related to applications for the various types of visa required for residency, work or retirement to Europe.  If an application is rejected, even for a relatively minor reason, the applicant will have to start their application from the beginning and pay the fee again therefore legal advice from the onset prevents such a situation. Each country has its own criteria for visa applications but there are some provisions that are common to all, for example, a clear criminal record, health insurance, documentation including a passport, proof of income and for certain visas and proof of accommodation.

Spain, Italy, Portugal and France all have visas enabling residency, and also long-stay visas that permit a non-EU citizen to remain in the country for longer than the designated 90 period. Additionally, Spain has, relatively recently, introduced the popular Digital Nomad Visa which permits a Non-EU citizen who works for a business based outside of Spain to live in Spain and work remotely.

One of the other legal matters related to relocation abroad that should be considered is the question of inheritance. If you are permanently located in another country and do not make a will your assets will be disposed of under the laws of succession of that country. The majority of European countries have laws of succession that involve forced heirship, meaning that your estate will be divided amongst your relatives and only your relatives, in designated percentages depending on how closely you were related, even if all your assets are not present in the country to which you have relocated. For instance, your spouse, children of the marriage will be the first relatives to inherit. In some countries there is no provision for beneficiaries outside family members. In order to benefit an unmarried partner or step children or a charity you must make a will under the jurisdiction of England and Wales.

First class legal advice cannot be over-valued if you are considering changing your lifestyle and relocating to Europe. Our experienced English speaking lawyers will ensure that you fully aware of all the requirements and achieve a stress-free move.

Giorgio Bianco leads the Sardinian office, the Tunis office and the Lyon Office He is also a partner in Tunisian and in French offices. Giorgio is qualified in Italy and also France.  He was shortlisted in 2016 by the prestigious legal magazine Top Legal for the award best Italian young lawyer of the year and his expertise assisted in the success in Giambrone winning the coveted Top Legal award as Best law Firm of Italy - Islands.

Giorgio taught law as an expert in immigration law and intercultural mediator in 2017. Giorgio is frequently invited as an expert speaker relating to international law at a variety of conferences, seminars and other events.  His main areas of expertise revolve around International and cross-border civil and commercial law, international contracts, real estate, French Law, Tunisian and Islamic Law. He also provides specialised legal expertise with respect to debt collection, corporate, arbitration, probate and family law.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.