If you are heading overseas to enjoy life as an expat it can seem chaotic before you leave. Getting everything in order can present a headache and the countless forms and online paraphernalia is exhausting. However, to make your life a little easier, here is a brief guide we have put together for you to ensure that you tie up all loose ends before you emigrate.
Sorting Out Your Finances
Before you go anywhere it is good to decide what it is you want to do with your UK bank accounts. You could close them and set up new ones in your new home. Or, an alternative if you still have money coming in and out of the accounts, would be to keep them open for a while. If the idea having statements sent to your old address worries you this is the perfect time to switch to online banking, where it is very easy to keep an eye on your money from anywhere in the world.
Other important financial matters to sort at this time are credit cards and any debts that you may still owe. If cancelling cards, ensure you receive a closing statement listing any debts. Remember you can be found anywhere in the world, so it’s best to pay them off and leave with a clear conscience.
Organisations You Need to Contact Before Emigrating
The most important people you will need to tell before you leave are the tax office, your pension company, the DVLA and the national insurance contributions service. A large amount of people simply up and leave ensuring they don’t tell anyone they have moved in the hope that it will lower tax rates, yet in reality, it can cause them to miss out on tax rebates that they are owed.
If you want to check if your pension is payable abroad and if your national insurance contributions should continue you need to ensure you check with the correct bodies before you move.
Letting the DVLA know of your move means you can return your tax disc if you have sold your car. You will get the remainder back and files will be up to date with your current situation.
You should also ensure you inform your doctor and dentist of your move so that they can not only free up the space for other patients but can then prepare to transfer your files when you move.
Cancelling Your Direct Debits and Standing Orders
Any direct debits on your account are best to be cancelled at least 6 weeks before you leave. They will generally allow you to decide on a date you want them to stop and doing this early will save you paying for them once you have moved. It is not uncommon for them to follow on to the next month so get in their early so as to avoid any hassle later on. The main things to look at being cancelled are:
- Satellite television
- Internet connection
- Contact lens subscription
If you have standing orders set up it is best to cancel them and make sure they have stopped once you move. For the most part smaller subscriptions, such as; magazines, newspapers and milk deliveries can be cancelled closer to the moving date.
Make Sure You Have Everyone’s Contact Information
Before you leave remember to obtain contact information from everyone you don’t want to lose touch with. There may come times you cannot find the address book or the pieces of paper you scribbled the info down on, so make sure you copy everything onto your phone or computer. A little tip would be to buy things like birthday cards for the next 3 months or so because when you have just moved even the small things can become big dramas, plus it will make things a little easier. If you are prepared you cannot upset anyone by forgetting.
There are plenty of other things that will need doing before you move, but this is there as a handy little reminder of things that may be forgotten.