Foreign Intrigue In Estate Planning

Published Monday, September 18, 2017 at: 7:00 AM EDT

Are you married to someone who isn't a U.S. citizen? If you are, special estate planning considerations may come into play.

Whether your spouse is a citizen or not, you can use the same basic estate planning documents without any reservations. You can create a will bequeathing assets to your spouse, name him or her as a beneficiary of retirement accounts, and designate your spouse as the agent under a power of attorney. No problems there.

But things get trickier when your spouse inherits assets. Normally, property transferred from one spouse to another, during your lifetimes or when one of you dies, is completely exempt from gift or estate tax thanks to an unlimited marital deduction. But that doesn't apply to non-citizen spouses.

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This article was written by a professional financial journalist for Meg Green & Associates. and is not intended as legal or investment advice.

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