Drafting a Qualified Domestic Trust
Citizenship Issues with Estate Planning
In the United States, there is no estate tax for married couples at the
first spouse's death, so long as all of the decedent's assets
go to the surviving spouse. Unfortunately, this is not the case for many
other couples. For example, should a couple not be married under federal
law, they will not get to enjoy this benefit.
Similarly, if the surviving spouse is not a U.S. citizen, they will not
benefit from the removal of estate taxes. In these cases, an estate tax
will be owed if the non-citizen spouse's inheritance is over the exemption
limit; in these cases, the taxes will be applied only to the excess amount.
This will be inclusive of death benefits of life insurance and retirement
amounts, unless it has been specifically excluded through an irrevocable trust.
"When There's a Fee, There's a Way"
At least, that's what a law professor of mine used to glibly state.
The truth is that married couples (where one or both are non-citizens)
should talk to my law firm today about the drafting of a Qualified Domestic
Trust (QDOT), which can help avoid these complex estate tax issues. By
working with my firm, we can help you draft this estate planning document,
which will require a U.S. citizen co-trustee or a corporate trustee in
cases where the QDOT value is more than two million dollars. Throughout
my legal practice, I have seen how volatile estates can be and how unpredictable
federal law's exemption amounts can be. For this reason, I highly
encourage that you contact me today so we can discuss the drafting of
a QDOT to protect yourself.
With extensive experience, I am here to help you prepare your estate.
Call now to request a consultation!