International Estate Planning Lawyer

Providing Legal Services to Non-Residents That Address Gift Taxes and Other Taxation Matters

If you are not a U.S. citizen but own property in the United States, you must have an international estate plan that helps protect your loved ones and avoid double taxation and transfer taxes. The U.S. tax laws that govern real and intangible property can be overly complex for non-U.S. citizens.

The amount of money that your U.S estate could be taxed will vary depending on whether you are a non-resident alien who is only in the country temporarily or a resident alien who holds a green card.

For these reasons, if you are a non-resident who owns U.S. situs assets such as real property or stock options in a U.S.-based company, it is best to hire an attorney to assist you with international estate planning services.

Element Law Firm, PC has extensive experience handling international estate planning and would be honored to assist you with your legal needs.

What is International Estate Planning?

With the ease of travel, cross-border financial investments, and other considerations, anyone with a U.S. estate must engage in international estate planning to ensure their family members are not faced with excessive taxation.

Several factors must be considered in international estate planning, including:

  • The domiciliary status of non-citizens living in the U.S. who have no intention to leave the country. However, resident aliens do not necessarily have automatic U.S. domiciliary status. This rule also applies to non-U.S. spouses
  • Financial strategies to minimize U.S estate and gift taxes.
  • Domestic estate planning for individuals who are U.S citizens or have citizen spouses.
  • Planning for transfer taxes and other possible taxation from foreign countries.

The main objective of international estate planning is to try and minimize the tax individuals owe to the United States. If non-resident aliens reside in countries with estate tax treaties, they may enjoy the advantages of lower tax rates. However, for those residing in countries with no tax treaties, non-residents may have to pay significant U.S. estate tax.

Currently, non-residents who inherit U.S. situs assets are only entitled to a $60,000 estate tax exemption.

Therefore, it is crucial that individuals who are non-resident aliens consult with a knowledgeable international estate planning attorney who can thoroughly evaluate their needs. Element Law Firm, PC

What Assets Are Subject to Estate Tax in the U.S.?

The IRS has strict rules that dictate what non-residents must pay out in estate tax for any U.S.-based assets. Federal law allows non-residents to claim an estate and gift tax exempt up to $60,000. However, non-residents’ estates valued over $60,000 will be taxed at 40%.

U.S. assets that are subject to estate tax include:

  • Tangible personal property (jewelry, motor vehicles, or business equipment).
  • Any real property located within the U.S.
  • Business assets located within the U.S.
  • Shares and investments in U.S. businesses incorporated within the U.S.
  • Cash that is deposited through U.S.-based brokers.

The same rules regarding gift tax apply to non-residents who receive gifts located within U.S. boundaries. Us gift tax law applies to the following circumstances:

  • Nonresident aliens give or receive gifts valued at more than $16,000 to someone other than their spouses.
  • A spouse gives a gift worth more than $164,000 to a spouse who is not a U.S. citizen.
  • Non-resident aliens receive a future interest gift. A future interest gift is any bestowal that the receiver does not have the right to possess or use until a later time. Common examples include real property or assets held in a trust.

What Are the Advantages of Hiring an International Estate Planning Attorney?

U.S. laws regarding international estate and gift tax can be overly complex and challenging to understand without legal training. As a result, individuals who are not U.S. citizens must contact a knowledgeable estate planning attorney who can protect their interests and help them avoid excessive or double taxation.

Some of the most common legal services that an international estate planning lawyer can assist with include:

  • Providing legal advice for individuals concerning their domiciliary status.
  • Pre-immigration tax planning.
  • Comprehensive estate planning for individuals with families and assets in multiple countries.
  • Providing legal advice to non-resident aliens regarding U.S. transfer taxes.
  • Providing legal advice on mandatory U.S. reporting requirements that involved foreign investments and other assets.
  • Domestic estate planning for U.S. citizens with non-citizen spouses.
  • Assistance with structuring foreign trusts to ensure they comply with U.S. tax laws.

It is important to note that every individual’s situation varies, so the type of legal services that an attorney can provide will significantly depend on their financial circumstances.

For more information regarding how an international estate planning attorney can help you protect your assets, contact Element Law Firm, PC, and schedule a meeting to discuss your legal options.

Does Your International Estate Planning Attorney Have the Knowledge it Takes to Help Me With My Legal Needs?

Element Law Firm, PC has vast experience advising clients regarding their international estate planning needs. Our legal team is aware that every case may present unique challenges but has the experience and knowledge it takes to protect your assets from excessive taxation.

Suppose you are a U.S. citizen with a non-U.S. spouse or non-resident who needs legal advice regarding property, probate concerns, investing, or assets held in other countries, Element Law Firm, PC. In that case, PC can help you know that your family and other beneficiaries will be protected.

Planning ahead is one of the easiest ways to ensure your family can enjoy the property and gifts you wish to leave without worrying about how much tax they may owe after you pass away.

Contact The Element Law Firm, PC at 760-642-6111 and ask to schedule a consultation to learn more about how we can assist you with international estate planning.