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Can a Foreign Spouse Inherit My Estate

Posted on Mon Jul 18, 2016, on QDOT Trust

From Our “Ask a Question” Mailbag: Inheritance for Foreign Spouse

Most Recently Updated August 8, 2018.

“Can a non-citizen spouse inherit land from me, a US citizen, even while a non-resident?  My wife lives in India, but I have property in my name here in the United States.”

Inheritance for Foreign Spouse

Inheritance for Foreign Spouse

Can a Non-Citizen Spouse Inherit From a US citizen? Certainly!

A non-citizen spouse living overseas can inherit from a US citizen, but it would be a good idea to have a clear estate plan.  A clear plan can make this process as easy and inexpensive as possible.  This is true no matter how large or small the estate. Further, the federal estate tax has some specific rules when a foreign spouse inherits a large sum of money.  The Federal Estate Tax applies only if your estate exceeds the Federal Estate Tax Exemption amount.

Setting Up A Trust So Foreign Spouse Can Safely Enjoy Your Estate.

If you are subject to the Federal Estate Tax, avoid payment at your death by using a QDOT Trust.  If drafted properly, a QDOT will allow the foreign spouse to avoid paying the estate tax.  These trusts must contain specific terms.  I would be happy to walk you through these requirements.

If your spouse handles your estate from outside the country, it might be wise to use a Revocable Trust.  Using this tool helps her avoid the probate process.  Though not impossible, probate is more complex while living overseas.  Further, it might be wise to set up a United States situs Irrevocable Trust.  This trust holds the foreign spouse’s inheritance, providing protection.  These trusts are especially helpful if your spouse lives in a country with high taxes or punitive laws.  QDOT and related trusts are a complex area with many options, so I suggest that we set up a free consultation to review your exact circumstance.

More Planning Questions?

TheInheritance for Foreign Spouse is only a piece of the Estate Planning process. By all means, if you want to learn more, please read my more detailed article, Estate Planning Everything You Need to Know.

In Conclusion: Inheritance for Foreign Spouse

I hope that this article was helpful in explaining an Inheritance for Foreign Spouse. Further, I included links to even more detailed information on my website so you can learn more. Therefore, please contact me and let me know how I did. Certainly, your comments and questions are welcome!

Let our Estate Planning lawyers help walk you through what can be a confusing process. To begin with, call to speak to one of our experienced estate planning lawyers.  By all means, our lawyers are ready to answer your questions. In fact, feel free to contact our office for a free consultation. Ultimately our goal is to make the process as painless as possible!

Wills, Trusts, Probate, and Estate Litigation, It’s All We Do!

 

Tags:

Estate Planning, Estate Planning Attorney, Estate Planning Lawyer, Irrevocable Trust, Peter Klenk, QDOT Trust, Revocable Trust, Spousal Trusts, Trusts

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