Expat Wills and Related Documents

Basic Wills for Expats

For American expats and foreign nationals residing in the United States, ensuring that any assets you have acquired pass according to your wishes becomes a task that must account for laws in more than one country. Regardless of whether you expect to pay any estate or inheritance tax, constructing a will that will be given effect in both the United States and any other country where you have ties is important. Our attorneys assist individuals with basic estates create wills and related documents that will meet their needs without considerable fees.

U.S. Trusts

U.S. trusts have the potential to play an important role in estate planning strategies for American expats, but this is a much more complicated issue than it is from a domestic perspective. These vehicles have the potential to allow your heirs to avoid having to go through U.S. probate and can also assist in managing exposure to foreign inheritance taxes.

However, not all foreign jurisdictions will acknowledge the U.S. trust’s existence. And even if it is given effect, income taxes and other fees could be a concern. Before establishing a U.S. trust as part of your estate plan, understanding the effect of such an arrangement under the tax and inheritance laws of any other country where you maintain ties will be important. Our experienced estate planning attorneys can help you determine if establishing a U.S. trust as a component of your estate plan will be the right choice.

Durable Powers of Attorney

Making sure that your affairs will be well-managed in the event you are incapacitated and unable to make decisions on your own can create peace of mind at any stage in life. Drafting and executing a durable power of attorney that will specify your wishes is often a straightforward matter, but guaranteeing that the agreement will have effect both in the United States and any other countries where you have ties requires more thoughtful consideration. We can help you craft a durable power of attorney that will achieve the intended results globally.

Health Care Directives

Similar to the power of attorney, a Health Care Directive will specify certain medical-related decisions that may need to be made on your behalf in the event you become incapacitated. Our attorneys can work with you to draft directives that will satisfy your wishes and have effect in all countries where you have strong ties.