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Estate planning and foreign assets

With the world getting technologically smaller, more people are investing in foreign markets. When it comes to estate planning in Illinois, residents who do have foreign assets need to be aware of how to handle them in their estate plans. Whether it's owning a castle in Europe, a vineyard in the foreign sun or high-end sports cars overseas, global assets need to be structured in such a way as to offset paying the highest taxes possible.

Getting help from an expert like a lawyer, accountant or financial advisor is probably a wise move before buying that foreign villa in the sun. All assets should be declared in an estate plan and that includes foreign interests. Keeping them hidden may only cause grief for beneficiaries and estate administrators when the time comes.

No matter where assets are located, the IRS will tax those assets upon the death of the testator. A lawyer may also be able to offer assistance as to whether there are tax implications in the country that houses those assets. It is best to have that knowledge prior to writing an estate plan.

An Illinois lawyer can advise an estate planning client regarding foreign assets. The attorney will be able to speak to things like whether it might be wise to have two wills instead of one. An attorney can also weigh in on whether probate might be easier by having a will in the country in which the assets are located. A lawyer can also offer guidance on how to overcome legal hurdles of owning foreign assets.

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