Estate planning is extremely important for anyone who cares for their family and wants to protect what they have earned over their lifetime. But if you are part of an international family, if you are married to a non-citizen, or if you live abroad, you may have even more reasons to take the time to carefully plan your estate.
Here are four good reasons to look into international estate planning:
- Lessen your tax burden. Did you know that non-citizens of the United States must follow different estate tax and gift tax laws than citizens? Or that if you own property abroad, you could end up getting taxed twice, in two different countries? Getting guidance from an estate planning attorney with experience in international estate planning can help you avoid these pitfalls, which could potentially cost you a significant portion of your wealth.
- Prevent confusion and delays. International estate planning is an opportunity to deal with any issues related to taxes, family members abroad, and conflicts in inheritance laws, all while you are still present to answer questions and make your wishes clear. If you don’t plan your estate, the red tape could at best delay your loved ones getting the support they need and deserve. At worst, it could prevent your loved ones from getting what you wished for them at all.
- Protect your wealth and property. When you don’t plan your estate, it is left in the hands of the government. You simply don’t have a say in what happens to everything that you have worked for. While the law attempts to make fair decisions, you will not have a chance to make your voice heard or make certain your assets end up in the right hands. If you have international property, the future of those assets could depend heavily on where they are located, and estate law can vary wildly from country to country.
- Protect your children. Especially if you wish your children to have a guardian who lives abroad, it is essential that you plan your estate so that your guardianship wishes are clear. International families should consider appointing both a temporary and permanent guardian. We also encourage that these families clearly outline why they have made the best choice for their kids.
Planning your estate when you have property overseas, or when you or your spouse is not a United States resident, can feel overwhelming. However, that is not a good reason to avoid taking steps toward completing the planning. At the Law Office of Janet Brewer, our knowledgeable California estate planners have extensive experience dealing with international families and non-residents. Call our law office today to make certain your family, your property, and your interests are protected correctly: (650) 325-8276.