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Estate Planning and Probate for Non-U.S. Citizens

  • Posted on: Apr 14 2020
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The United States is made up of individuals from all over the world and is home to many non-U.S. citizens who live, work, and sometimes die in this country. So what happens when a non-U.S. citizen passes away in the U.S.? 

Usually, there is nothing that stops such an individual’s estate from being distributed. Unfortunately, though, people often forget to account for certain practical measures in their Will or other estate planning documents. 

While there is absolutely nothing against burying or cremating a non-U.S. citizen in the United States, sometimes the families of non-U.S. citizens wish for them to be buried in their country of origin. This can become an issue when the decedent has not put aside the funds for transporting their body to their home country. Without accounting for these types of expenses it can make things very difficult. 

Residence, Real Property, and Probate

Although some non-U.S. citizens and their families wish for them to be buried abroad in their country of origin, when someone dies in California and wants to be buried there, the state probate court generally has jurisdiction for overseeing the distribution of the decedent’s assets. If a non-U.S. citizen was living in California permanently or had lived there for an extended period of time at the time of their death, jurisdiction is even likelier. 

In a situation in which a non-U.S. citizen owns property in California but does not live there, the probate court may need to conduct an ancillary proceeding. Non-real property will be distributed in accordance with the laws of another state that they live in or their country. 

When a non-U.S. citizen living in the U.S. neither resides nor owns real estate in California, probate will probably take place in the place that has most of the individual’s property. 

An estate executor or representative may have to file income taxes for the U.S. and California as well as an estate tax return. Additional taxes may be owed to another state or country.

The Law Offices of Brian L. Fox, APLC Helps Those in CA to Create a Comprehensive Estate Plan

Individuals who fail to take various practical measures into consideration can create hardship for their loved ones during what is already sure to be a difficult time.

At the Law Offices of Brian L. Fox, APLC, we understand how important it is to protect that which you care most about – including the wellbeing of your loved ones. We can help you to create a comprehensive estate plan to do just that. To learn more about tax law or to schedule a free consultation, contact us today!

Posted in: Estate Planning, Probate/Estate Administration