One of the major differences in probating an estate for a foreign individual and a U.S. Citizen is the difference in the estate tax exemption amount: the amount an individual can leave to heirs without having to pay federal estate taxes.
For foreign individuals, the Federal estate tax exemption is capped at $60,000.00, whereas the Federal estate tax exemption for U.S. Citizens in 2015 is capped at $5.43 million per individual, up from $5.34 million in 2014, according to Forbes. A husband and wife each get their own exemption. U.S. Citizens are also allotted a “gift exclusion” amount of $14,000.00.
The top federal estate tax rate is 40%!
If you are a foreign individual who owns real or personal property in Florida that amounts to over $60,000.00 in value, you should discuss your options of getting on a path to U.S. Citizenship with an experienced immigration attorney. The most common paths to U.S. Citizenship are through an EB5 investment visa, H1-B visa, or family petitions, but there may be other options in some cases.
If you are eligible for U.S. Citizenship through Naturalization, and the value of the assets of your estate exceeds $5.43 million, then there may be other options available to you to lessen or remove this estate tax. These may include trusts, college savings plans, life insurance, and more. It is important to talk to an experienced estate planning attorney to ensure that your estate plan is custom fit to your individual needs.
If you are NOT eligible for U.S. Citizenship, and your real estate value is over $60,000.00, then you should consult with us to prepare your estate plan.
No two people are alike, and no two estate plans should be alike either. Here at Boyer Law Firm, our Estate Planning Attorneys work with tax attorneys and other tax professionals to ensure that you and your family will be best protected when you pass away.