Today, more so than ever before, we are living in a connected world, with people from Oklahoma working and visiting other states and even other countries. Each year, a large number of people vacation in other countries and some individuals even end up acquiring assets in these foreign countries. Unfortunately, estate planning is much more complex when a person owns assets that are located in another country. For this reason, it is important to understand some of the finer points of estate planning when foreign property is involved.
Fully Disclose All of Your Assets
It is important to make certain that you disclose all of your assets to your lawyer when creating your estate plan. Some people fail to include information about assets that they own in other countries because they do not think that it influences how their estate will be treated. In reality, an estate planning lawyer must understand all of your assets and where they are located to help to determine the tax repercussions for you and your heirs.
The Possibility of Multiple Wills
Based on exactly where foreign assets are located, a person might decide to have one or two wills to deal with the transfer of foreign property. In many cases, an estate planning attorney must consult with foreign lawyers to draft a will that addresses property in the other country. By creating two wills in this manner, a person’s estate moves more easily through the probate process. If one will is in the language of the foreign country, this means that a foreign court can avoid having to translate it, which not only saves times also helps to prevent confusion.
Many people are surprised to learn that citizens of the United States are taxed on the basis of their worldwide assets. An experienced attorney can help explain the tax implications that foreign property might have on a person’s estate as well as whether there are any treaties that reduce the amount of estate taxes an individual will be required to pay.
Exercise Caution in Obtaining Legal Representation
It is a wise idea to make sure that your attorney has the knowledge required to successfully perform estate planning involving foreign assets. If your attorney lacks these skills, you should consider looking elsewhere for assistance. In many cases, it is critical to obtain the assistance of an experienced attorney in the foreign country. This attorney can inform you of how laws in that country influence your estate planning. If you decide to sell or transfer the real estate prior to your death, the assistance of a foreign attorney is also often essential.
Speak with an Experienced Estate Planning Lawyer
No matter how you ended up acquiring foreign property, this ownership has the potential to make your estate planning even more complex. In these situations, it is best to obtain the assistance of an experienced estate planning attorney. Contact attorney Jim A Lyon today to schedule a free initial consultation.