When a couple has significant wealth and one spouse is not a U.S. citizen, there are additional considerations to be made when it comes to estate planning. Typically, when both husband and wife are U.S. citizens and one passes away, the surviving spouse will inherit the estate of the predeceasing spouse tax free. However, when the surviving spouse is not a U.S. citizen, it is possible that the estate may be subject to federal estate taxes. In these instances, a qualified domestic trust ("QDOT") may be used to minimize such taxation. However, a QDOT is subject to strict and highly complex tax regulations, so it is vital to work with a knowledgeable and experienced estate planning attorney.
Finding the Right Estate Planning Lawyer for You and Your Family
At Hayes & Wilson, our lawyers create comprehensive estate plans and help families with estate planning and probate issues every day. We truly understand the complexities associated with all estate planning instruments and can advise on the best options for you and your family.
If a QDOT is right for you, our lawyers will clearly explain the benefits, limitations, and associated regulations. Through thoughtful planning, we will help position you, your family, and your assets for security.
Surviving spouses who are not U.S. citizens do not receive the unlimited marital deduction on property passed to them from their predeceasing spouse. Therefore, without proper estate planning, legal residents may be subject to significant estate tax liabilities.