An international client seeking an estate planning attorney should look for one who knows U.S. estate planning, U.S. tax laws, and also either knows the laws of your foreign jurisdiction or agrees to work with foreign counsel. Knowing the tax rules and the effect of various legal documents (like domestic and/or foreign trusts or corporations) is crucial. Your attorney must properly plan with the use (or non-use) of foreign trusts for asset protection purposes, and know the relationship between the foreign and U.S. tax systems is important so you do not over-pay on your taxes (this requires familiarity with the relevant tax treatises). Moreover, it is also crucial that your attorney minimize the burdensome transfer and income taxes, and understand the so-called “informational reporting requirements.” The international client faces an additional risk that domestic clients do not—namely, the risk that the laws of a foreign jurisdiction would interfere with the domestic jurisdiction’s laws. As an international client, you must find an attorney that can effectively straddle the intersection of all these areas of law.
Nonresident looking for help with estate planning was last modified: March 21st, 2018 by David Klasing