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Estate Planning

Old Sep 8th 2009, 7:50 pm
  #1  
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Default Estate Planning

I'm looking into setting up a Living Trust, Will etc to protect my children in the event I come to an unforseen end. I would like my brother in the UK to be designated as trustee until my children reach a given age - say 21 or 25.
I've spoken to a few Estate Planning attorneys and some say it would be do-able, others say not.

Does anyone know on this board if I can designate my brother in the UK as trustee ?

Any practical tips on how to go about it ? Pitfalls etc ?

TIA
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Old Sep 9th 2009, 12:07 am
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Default Re: Estate Planning

Might depend on which state you currently reside in...

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Old Sep 9th 2009, 1:09 am
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Default Re: Estate Planning

State dependent really. You'll need to find someone in your state who handles wills and trusts and speak to them.

Why are they saying no? The foreign citizen aspect or some rule against perpetuities or some other weird thing.
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Old Sep 9th 2009, 5:45 pm
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Default Re: Estate Planning

I'm in California.

The people I have spoken to so far are Attorneys. Googling this issue on my own I seem to be uncovering all kinds of laws with regards to the tax implications on my estate if I die as a non US citizen. It seems I need to be as much as an expert on this matter as the people I am talking to in order to know what is good and bad advice. Thats why I posted here, to see if anyone had been through the mill already so to speak.
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Old Sep 9th 2009, 6:14 pm
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Default Re: Estate Planning

Originally Posted by igirisu View Post
I'm in California.

The people I have spoken to so far are Attorneys. Googling this issue on my own I seem to be uncovering all kinds of laws with regards to the tax implications on my estate if I die as a non US citizen. It seems I need to be as much as an expert on this matter as the people I am talking to in order to know what is good and bad advice. Thats why I posted here, to see if anyone had been through the mill already so to speak.
There are certainly implications that are well worth understanding, especially if the amount that escapes estate tax reverts downwards after 2010, which it will do absent new legislation.

As to you original question, I wouldn't have someone in the UK be your trustee if you can plausibly avoid it even if it is legal to do so.. That's likely to be a huge pain for your brother trying to do everything from that distance.

Edit: you don't say whether you're married and whether your spouse is a US citizen, but I suspect that the lawyers may be talking about a QDOT:

http://prudentplanning.wordpress.com...itizen-spouse/

Last edited by Giantaxe; Sep 9th 2009 at 6:29 pm.
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Old Sep 9th 2009, 8:06 pm
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Default Re: Estate Planning

Having been through some loops recently in similar areas:

I (UKC) was a trustee for an estate while in the UK. When I moved to the US I had to relinquish that post because having a non-resident trustee would have caused the trust all sorts of tax grief. I suspect the same would be true the other way around.

Having recently set up wills in the USA the grief, in NY anyway, comes when someone dies and leaves money to a non-US citizen. Generally if a non-citizen dies and leaves money to a US citizen the lack of citizenship on the part of the deceased is irrelevant. In NY certainly the tax implications of money left to a non-citizen are horrific and there are ways around that using trusts. Normal, or QDOT. However (in NY anyway) the ways around those tax issues are based on any trustee being a US citizen or corporation. The benefits don't apply if you have a UKC trustee.

So, depends on the reason for what you want to do, and which state you are in. Better, in general, to not have any non-citizen or non-resident components. Speak to a lawyer specializing in estate planning. We wasted money originally speaking to a non-specialist lawyer, but at least we twigged the complexity of everything before going too far with him. We switched to a specialist (who, incidentally, was cheaper!). Whatever the cost, it is peanuts compared to the tax liabilities if you get it wrong.
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Old Sep 10th 2009, 5:19 pm
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Default Re: Estate Planning

Definitely talk to an attorney first about your options. It is most important that your wishes are documented properly and your rights are protected.

Once you have some options worked out then you can worry about which is best from a tax perspective. Most estate planning attorneys will have a tax accountant that they can refer you to.
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Old Sep 11th 2009, 2:53 am
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Default Re: Estate Planning

You haven't provided a lot of information I'm assuming that in the event of your death you would like monies to be held in trust for the benefit of your children with your brother as trustee. Would your children stay in the US in this event?

Whether this is allowed or not, the issue is if it is a practical idea.

My husband is a US Citizen living in Canada and he is the executor of his mother's will. Geographically we are closer to the state where she was living than his brother but logistically it would have been easier for the brother to deal with this. The institutions love to quote the Patriot Act as the reason for not giving any information but at least we don't have any time differences to complicate matters further.

The only good thing about him being Executor is that we can investigate the tax implications in the US and Canada before realising any assets.
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Old Sep 11th 2009, 4:10 pm
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Default Re: Estate Planning

If real estate is involved, make sure that the title is set up correctly... what I here alot are issues between wills and title being in tenants in common etc and causing havoc. Quite often, title supersedes wills as title determine survivorship. (As people say, consult an attorney!)
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