Estate planning is increasingly no longer about the laws of a single state or even a single nation. People often own property in several different jurisdictions.
It used to be that, for all but a very few individuals, everything a person owned was located in one state. Someone who lived in Virginia was unlikely to own real estate in Montana, let alone in France.
Now, in the current era of globalization, more and more people have property all over the place.
Some of the property is real estate, but much of it also has to do with business and finance. This creates different estate planning problems as the Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog discusses in “Wills and Inheritances: 10 Cross-Border Tips.”
The most important thing to understand when property is located in a different jurisdiction than where you live, is that other jurisdiction’s estate laws. You need to carefully consider how that property will be handled and what taxes might be due on it.
When just dealing between states within the U.S., this normally does not create gigantic problems. However, when dealing with foreign nations that have very different laws, it can create headaches, if not properly planned.
If you have property that could be subject to laws outside of your state, it is important to contact an experienced estate planning attorney.
It may not be a good idea to download a do-it-yourself will or trust that does not take the laws of other jurisdictions into account.
Reference: Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog (June 16, 2017) “Wills and Inheritances: 10 Cross-Border Tips.”
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