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Estate Planning for Mixed Nationality Couples: Key Issues and Strategies for Both the U.S. and Non-U.S. Spouse

Tax Resident Status, Spousal Deduction, QDOTs, Income Tax Issues, Gifting Strategies and Shifting Tax Burden, Trusts, and More

Recording of a 90-minute CLE/CPE video webinar with Q&A

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Conducted on Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Recorded event now available

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This CLE/CPE webinar will give estate planners and advisers an in-depth discussion of various challenges and estate planning techniques for mixed-nationality couples. The panel will discuss key planning considerations and available options, the impact of tax resident status on estate planning, and U.S. citizenship-based taxation planning repercussions where one spouse is a U.S. citizen. The panel will explore challenges for couples who live and work outside the U.S. and are subject to tax rules of multiple countries, gifting and shifting the tax burden to the non-U.S. spouse, and other vital issues.


Estate planning for mixed nationality couples involves a comprehensive understanding of various rules and regulations to minimize income, estate, and gift taxes for both the U.S. and non-U.S. spouse. Estate planners and advisers must understand current U.S. estate and gift tax rules, applicable tax treaties, and available mechanisms to avoid the adverse consequences of an improperly structured estate plan for mixed nationality couples.

Spouses may have different citizenships and residency status, which can significantly impact the estate plan. When structuring an estate plan and implementing gifts and other transfers, counsel and advisers must consider (1) immigration and tax resident status; (2) joint versus separate ownership of certain U.S. and non-U.S. assets; (3) available techniques to shift the tax burden; and (4) the use of certain types of trusts to minimize taxes.

Estate planning attorneys and tax advisers must also identify tax opportunities and risks for clients, understand the reporting issues that apply to both the U.S. and non-U.S. spouse, recipients of gifts, and the application of estate and gift tax treaties and exceptions.

Listen as our panel of estate planning attorneys experienced in international issues discusses the estate, gift, and generation-skipping transfer tax rules that apply to mixed nationality couples. The panel will also outline planning scenarios and key potential trouble spots and opportunities.



  1. Estate, gift, and GST tax rules impacting mixed nationality couples
  2. Sample estate planning scenarios
  3. Trouble spots and pitfalls to avoid
  4. Estate and gift tax treaties
  5. Planning opportunities


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • What estate, gift, and generation-skipping transfer tax rules must be considered for mixed nationality couples?
  • How do immigration and resident tax status impact available planning opportunities?
  • What issues arise for joint and separate ownership of assets?
  • What gifting mechanisms are available to shift the tax burden to non-U.S. spouses?
  • What planning is available in light of a lower personal exemption/unified credit for non-U.S. persons?
  • Incorporating estate and gift tax treaty benefits or exceptions into the estate planning strategies


Akhavan, K. Eli
K. Eli Akhavan

Steptoe & Johnson

Mr. Akhavan focuses his practice on tax and estate planning for high-net-worth US and non-US clients. He advises...  |  Read More

Byrne, Christopher
Christopher J. Byrne, CPA

Christopher J. Byrne

Mr. Byrne has been practicing in the field of international taxation and cross-border estate planning as a Certified...  |  Read More

Raby, Burgess
Burgess Raby

Raby Law Office

Mr. Raby's practice focuses on international tax matters, including planning for foreign investment into the United...  |  Read More

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Strafford will process CLE credit for one person on each recording. CPE credit is not available on recordings. All formats include course handouts.

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