A nice day today, eh?
Lots of U.S citizens are married to non-U.S. citizens. Can you leave them with your assets? Yup. Write a will or trust--whether a U.S. citizen, or not.
Now, what happens if you’re married to a non-US citizen and you die? Then the normal rules for marital deduction do not apply. For this, include a qualified domestic trust (QDOT) provision in your estate plan. This allows your non-U.S. citizen spouse to avoid paying estate taxes.
A foreign trust is when the trustee lives outside U.S.
Generally, QDOT provisions are part of a revocable living trust you create while living. Say your spouse becomes a US citizen after creating this living trust. Cool. The QDOT provisions can be made to not apply. So then you don’t have to revise your estate planning.
You can name a non-US citizen to act in your behalf after you pass. This is known as a Foreign Trust. Your survivor will have to fill out more tax forms for the IRS. But that’s hardly a reason to not appoint someone you trust.
I'm Joel Bernstein, an estate planning attorney with over 30 years of experience. I use plain English to help you understand wills, trusts, and the other documents you need to protect your loved ones and your estate.
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