Sunday, January 23, 2011
You cannot ignore estate planning if you wish your US and and Mexican assets passing to the heirs you desire. You need to take the necessary steps to keep the costs and taxes at a minimum. If you are a US expat living in Mexico, that means you have to put the necessary documents in place in Mexico and in the USA. The laws of both countries governing testate succession must be coordinated.
The US imposes its estate and gift taxes on your no matter where you live in the world and no matter where your assets are located in the world. Mexico currently has no estate taxes but they are talking about changing that.
The US side of the process involves Wills, Trusts, Powers of Attorneys and Health Care Directives. These documents will direct the disposition of your Assets located in the USA. It may also involve a program of gifting in order to keep your US taxes down. In Mexico you may need a Mexican Will and must take steps to make certain your Fideicomiso passes your Mexican real estate to the proper heirs. You will need a Mexican attorney or accountant to help you with these documents.
If you do it right, you can save tens of thousands of dollars in probate fees,and often a lot more in estate taxes. We have been doing estate planning for over 30 years. Read more and download your estate planning questionnaire here. After you fill it out, send it to us and we can help you implement a plan that achieves your personal wishes.
Even Mexicans who are not US Citizens or residents, need to do US estate planning if they have real estate, corporations, or other assets located in the US. Proper advance planning also saves a lot of costs your heirs will have to incur if it is not done in advance.