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Estate planning and inheritance issues for immigrants

On Behalf of | Jan 6, 2021 | Estate Planning

Estate planning is always a lot of work, but there are factors that can make it more or less complicated depending on the individual’s estate. Estate planning and inheritances can be more complicated for immigrants who come to California from outside the country.

Complicated estates

When someone owns property in more than one country, estate planning becomes more complicated for them. Property can include things like land, buildings or even stock in foreign companies. Passing on this property can create a complicated situation for heirs, too. They may need to pay taxes on some of the foreign-held property.

When someone in the United States inherits money or assets from overseas, they may need to file with the IRS. It all depends on how much the estate is worth. The inheritor’s status in the U.S. can have an effect, too. Non-resident aliens, green card holders and citizens are all treated slightly differently by the legal system and the tax code.

Strategies for tax-advantaged estates

Trusts are a great instrument for managing assets. Putting assets in a trust means taking them out of the direct control of the owner. A trust is an entity managed by another party for the benefit of others, and trusts often confer tax advantages.

There are specific trusts that can be used to pass assets on to spouses and children after someone’s death. In some circumstances, trusts can help a family to avoid both probate court and estate taxes. Of course, inheritance law changes all the time, so it’s very important to get sound legal advice when making plans for a complex estate.