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Strategizing when estate planning involves foreign assets

Not every family has assets that contain foreign holdings.

Many do, though. And those bank accounts and other financial vehicles tied to locales outside the United States yield both welcome assets and distinct challenges.

The upsides are of course apparent. Legally accrued wealth linked with things like foreign financial accounts, overseas business interests and non-U.S. realty holdings provides notable diversification to a portfolio. From an estate planning perspective, such assets can greatly benefit a planner’s heirs and beneficiaries.

A caveat attaches to foreign-sourced assets, though, which underscores an owner’s reporting and payment obligations concerning such wealth.

U.S. tax authorities have a manifestly broad perspective when it comes to tax duties owed by American filers. The failure to fully disclose foreign assets and follow through with tax payments deemed owed can bring stringent penalties. Those include notably high fines and other financial exactions. In some instances, they yield lengthy prison terms.

Ultimately, it both figuratively and literally pays for individuals and families in California and elsewhere who have foreign holdings to secure a high comfort level via a legal strategy geared toward asset protection and compliance.

A proven estate planning attorney with an integrated background as a tax professional can help promote security and an optimal outcome. We note on our website at the established Bay Area estate planning Law Offices of Connie Yi that “proactive steps can be taken to protect foreign assets.” And we add that proper treatment of these singular holdings “can provide a means to diversify one’s financial holdings.”

Coming into compliance and accounting for foreign taxes are key initial moves that can promote a positive bottom line for planners with non-U.S. holdings. A proven planning professional can provide further information.

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