California residents may have their primary residences and business holdings in California, but many of them are citizens of the world or digital nomads with other homes, businesses, and assets located around the world. While having the ability to increase wealth or spend money on things like property or businesses around the globe is great, there are estate planning issues that have to be considered and resolved so that there are no unpleasant surprises down the road.
People with overseas assets need to figure out how to structure ownership of their assets so that they come out ahead with tax and estate planning. What that ownership structure looks like will depend on several factors,including the country where the asset is located, the rules of the country where the asset is located, and the citizenship and residency status of the business owner.
People with overseas assets and businesses also need to figure out who they will be leaving their assets to when they’re no longer around or no longer able to manage them. They’ll need to understand the estate and inheritance laws of the countries that their assets are located in, and they’ll need to figure out how those laws will affect their beneficiaries.
Overseas asset holders may also wish to work with local counsel that have experience working with US-based law firms to make sure that they’re complying with local legal rules and restrictions regarding issues like transferring assets to a trust. California residents who hold overseas assets also need to disclose their overseas holdings to their US-based attorneys and law firms so that those firms can help them figure out any legal, tax, and estate issues. Overseas assets must be included in US estate plans.
People who have overseas assets may benefit from working with law firms that have experience working with foreign estate planning issues. The risk of not working with law firms that understand the complexities of this type of law could end up causing issues down the road.