What happens when people in Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma own foreign property and want to create an estate plan? How can you ensure the property located in a different country will pass in accordance with your wishes?
While most people will never have to answer these questions, people who own foreign property need to pay special attention to this issue. What happens to property located in different countries can be incredibly complicated, and require careful planning and attention to detail. Today we are going to look at several issues people with foreign property will need to think about when creating an estate plan.
Foreign Property and Estate Planning: International and Foreign Laws
When you deal with foreign property, you may have to deal with the laws of multiple countries and even international laws. Every country has its own laws that govern the handling of property located within its borders and inheritances that arise from that property. While many laws might be similar to those in the United States, some are quite different. Many treat non-citizen property owners much differently than they do citizen property owners.
Because of this, if you own foreign property you likely will need to consult an attorney familiar with the laws of the country in which the property is located. Your estate planning attorney will need to confer with appropriate counsel to determine the options available to you and what you need to do to protect your foreign property.
Foreign Property and Estate Planning: Taxation
One of the most important issues surrounding foreign property ownership is the question of taxation. How will your property be taxed? Will you have to pay taxes to the United States government, a foreign government, or both? How much will you have to pay? When will you have to pay it?
Each of these answers will differ depending on the location of the property, its value, and other factors. No single answer will apply to every foreign property and estate planning situation. There are issues you will need to evaluate before you make any decisions.
Foreign Property and Estate Planning: Inheritances
How can you ensure the foreign property you own will pass in accordance with your wishes? Will courts in the country in which the property is located recognize the inheritance choices you made in your last will and testament?
Answering these questions will depend on a number of factors and the laws of the country in which the property is located. While some international treaties govern wills and inheritances across countries, understanding how they apply to your situation will require advice and guidance from your attorney.
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