Regardless of your citizenship status, having a comprehensive estate plan is a great idea. Individuals who may not have been born in the United States but live in California should consider the need to create an estate plan with the help of one of our Long Beach estate planning attorneys. It may be someone who is a non-citizen or non-resident, may have a green card or may have just recently gained their U.S. citizenship. Whatever your status may be, estate planning is necessary.
Estate Planning for Non-Citizens Can be Complicated
The reality is that creating an estate plan for someone who is not a U.S. citizen can be a more complex process, in part, because of the tax planning that will likely be involved. There are different tax laws that apply to individuals who are not U.S. citizens. There are other issues, as well. Estate and gift tax laws are affected by residency and citizenship status. Certain laws apply if you are “domiciled” in the United States or whether you are a “resident” as defined under federal income tax laws. Depending on where your assets are located, Long Beach estate planning attorneys need to determine whether your assets have international or U.S. “situs.” All of these issues need to be considered and addressed in your estate plan.
Why You Need Long Beach Estate Planning Attorneys
Whether you are a non-citizen or you are married to someone who is, estate planning will need to be more comprehensive than usual, including more than just a trust or last will and testament. More importantly, you should not settle for a do-it-yourself, fill-in-the-blank estate plan. One size will not fit everyone in this situation. Instead, you should rely on the experience and knowledge of one of our Long Beach estate planning attorneys to help create the proper plan.
An estate planning attorney that has experience with drafting plans for non-citizens will be ready to ask the necessary questions to ensure that you receive a customized plan. The precise elements of every estate plan will depend on the individuals, their families, and the nature of their estate property. Let us help you get it right.
Estate Planning Ensures Your Assets Go to Your Intended Beneficiaries
Possibly the most basic reason for having an estate plan is to keep your property from ending up with someone you don’t want to have it. The reality is, if you don’t make the decision now about who should receive your assets, the court will do it for you. The primary purpose of an estate plan is to designate which of your heirs should receive which assets. If the court is required to do this for you, it can take years to complete and often leads to ugly family disputes. Remember, courts do not automatically decide that a surviving spouse will get everything.
Estate Planning Will Protect Families With Small Children
While none of us want to consider the possibility that we might die while our children are still minors, but it happens. So, you need to prepare for this dreadful possibility. This is where the last will and testament, an important component of every estate plan, is most helpful. What parent would not want to make all the decisions regarding their child’s care? In order to ensure that your children will be taken care of, in the way you see fit, you need to designate a guardian or guardians to care for them, in the event both parents die before the children turn 18. Otherwise, once again, the court will make that decision for you
Proper Estate Planning Can Help to Reduce Estate Taxes
If you want to be sure that your heirs will not pay more than they absolutely must pay in estate taxes, then you need to have an estate plan. Another major goal of estate planning is protecting your heirs from a huge tax burden. A component of your estate plan should help you to transfer your assets to your heirs while maintaining the smallest tax burden possible. It doesn’t take major planning to reduce or even eliminate estate taxes if the right exemptions and deductions are used. But, without an estate plan, your heirs will likely be forced to pay the government quite a bit.
Download a FREE estate planning worksheet today! If you have questions regarding estate planning, trust contests, or any other trust administration issues, please contact the Schomer Law Group either online or by calling us in Los Angeles at (310) 337-7696, and in Orange County at (562) 346-3209.
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