Estate Planning in Different Countries
Do you own assets overseas? Are you a U.S. citizen living overseas with assets in the United States? Do you want to ensure that your national and/or international assets are properly passed on to your beneficiaries?
An estate planning and probate attorney who specializes in domestic and international estate and tax planning can help you navigate the complexities.
If you need help with international and domestic estate and tax planning, keep reading below to see how the attorneys at Easy Estate Probate can walk you through every step of the process.
What If My Family Lives Outside of the United States? Can I Still Pass Down Property And Assets To Them Or Vice versa?
Whether you live and own a property abroad but have family in the U.S., or your family lives abroad, and you own property in the U.S., it is always a good idea to have an estate plan that takes taxes and location into consideration. Watch the video above to see how a skilled attorney, such as those at Easy Estate Probate, can simplify international estate and tax planning.
Estate Planning In Different Countries
When estate planning international assets and property, there are several things that a probate attorney must take into consideration. Since things such as succession, taxation, and other factors vary by country and jurisdiction, this can get very complicated. That is why we recommend consulting with an attorney specializing in international estate and tax planning. A probate attorney that specializes in international estate planning must take several factors into account:
● The jurisdiction of each country involved in the estate plan.
● Inheritance and distribution processes in each country.
Let us take the United States as an example. In this country, the decedent's assets (the person who passed away and created the estate plan) are transferred to a temporary and separate legal entity referred to as an estate and are usually supervised by the judicial system. In estate jurisdictions, there is a process that must be undergone before the assets are distributed to the beneficiaries. In these types of jurisdictions, the following steps are followed:
1. The legal or personal representative collects the decedent’s assets and addresses issues related to ownership.
2. Claims against the estate are identified, and the decedent’s death is legally declared.
3. The claims verified and presented are paid from the assets in the estate (e.g., taxes, mortgages, etc.)
4. The remaining assets are divided and distributed according to the will left by the decedent; if there is no will, the representative distributes the assets to the heirs according to the law, then distributes any resulting shares.
In other countries that are not estate jurisdictions, descent, and distribution happen differently. Inheritance jurisdictions pass the decedent's assets to heirs and beneficiaries according to the
decedent’s will. If the decedent does not leave behind a will, the estate is distributed and dispersed according to the country’s laws of descent and distribution. In inheritance jurisdictions like Italy, there is no estate to which the assets are passed. Instead, any debt or tax obligation that the decedent leaves behind is passed down to the heirs or beneficiaries, which they are personally and legally obligated to pay. The heir or beneficiary might be able to challenge claims from the decedent’s creditors, but it involves a separate court procedure to address these claims. In some cases, beneficiaries may need to reject their inheritance to avoid personal responsibility for these debts and claims.
If you own any assets overseas, are a U.S. citizen living overseas with assets in the States, or have a situation where you may need help creating a domestic or international estate and tax plan, we can help. Experienced attorneys at Easy Estate Probate specialize in international and domestic estate and tax planning to ensure that your descendants have the guidance and assistance they need to efficiently receive your property and assets after your passing. Click here to book a FREE case evaluation today!