Do I Need to Include Foreign Assets in My Estate Plan?

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The more assets you own, the more important it is to make sure that you put a comprehensive estate plan in place for those needs. Failing to consider all various aspects of your estate, including foreign assets, could lead to problems down the road.


Hiring an estate planning attorney to address both simple and complex estate planning needs is recommended for all people aged 18 and over. It is very important to accurately disclose all of your assets when working with an estate planning attorney. Foreign assets that you own should also be included.


You may initially assume that these do not have to be included in your asset list since they may not be relevant to your US-based estate plan, however, you may want your advisors’ insight on how to structure foreign asset ownership in line with the other country’s laws and the laws of the United States.

Some of the questions you may want to ask your estate planning attorney include:

  • Is it possible for me to avoid double taxation if your assets are subject to death, inheritance or estate taxes in other countries?
  • Will I need to draft a separate will to encompass foreign assets as well as domestic?
  • How does my existing citizenship affect my estate planning issues since there are differences between residency and domicile?


Disclosing allows you to discuss the various issues in your estate plan as well as your primary concerns about the best way to consider these in all of your strategies and documents. The more overwhelming and complicated things feel, the more important it is to identify an attorney who can walk you through the process and help to ensure a comprehensive plan addressing your needs.

Need help structuring your own plan for an array of assets? Let our California estate planning attorneys help you draft your plan now.

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