International Inheritance Law
An inheritance will already be international, if
is located in another country.
The consequences will normally concern the inheritance law as well as the tax law.
The rules for the succession, wills or forced heirs can be partially altered. This can put the planned succession order at risk, but offers opportunities at the same time. It can happen for example in regards of properties in France, Monaco or the USA.
Some countries have time consuming and costly procedures for the administration and liquidation of the estate. An example is the probate procdure in the US. Sometimes powers of attorney for bank accounts cease to exist with the death of the principal.
Without estate planning assets can be blocked for a prolonged period and fall in the hands of unwanted heirs.
Inheritance taxes / Estate Taxes
As more or less always in modern life, tax aspects have to be considered. Many foreign owners of real estate in the U.S. for example, are not aware of the fact, that their heirs can face a tax bill of up to 60%. France provides particularly detailed tax rules to ensure wealth and estate taxes of foreign real estate owners.
Such international inheritances typically concern the legal and fiscal systems of more than one state. This demands coordinated consulting and tax planning.
Often trusts offer an ideal vehicle for a fexible estate planning.
In common law legal systems, a trust is an arrangement whereby property is managed by one or more persons or entities (the trustees) for the benefit of another.
The person who entrusts some or all of his property to the trustee of his choice is called the settlor or sometimes in the US a grantor.
The trustees hold legal title to the trust property but nevertheless the trust property is a separate fund and does not form part of the trustees'
personal property. They are obliged to hold the property for the benefit of one or more individuals or organizations (the beneficiaries).
We typically work with professional trustees to assure a proper administration. Persons close to the settlor's family, like family members, friends or lawyers are often nominated as protectors. The protector's functions may range from a mere controlling and oversight to a decisive role in any decisions.
A trust can be established in various on-shore and off-shore jurisdictions whereby the choice depends on the individual situation of the settlor and the beneficiaries. Overall a careful analysis of the individual legal and tax implications, of the goals and motives and of the possible future developments should precede the establishment of any trust. Only after such an analysis we can arrive at a tailor made solution.
Existing trusts should be revised from time to as the legal and tax frame work as well as the individual situations might change. Our services include such trust audits.
- - a bank account
- - a property
- - a heir
- - or the deceased