Estate Planning for Resident and Non-Resident Aliens

Navigating Estate, Gift and GST Tax Rules; Leveraging Estate and Lifetime Gifting Opportunities

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

Conducted on Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Recorded event now available

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Program Materials

This CLE webinar will focus on issues for counsel and tax advisers in estate planning for resident and non-resident aliens, focusing on relevant tax rules and potential estate planning pitfalls and opportunities. The panel will outline and analyze hypothetical estate planning scenarios for both groups.


With an increasing number of high net worth clients acquiring citizenship or permanent residency in multiple countries, counsel and tax advisers should recognize the issues for estate planning. Counsel's initial inquiry is to establish whether a new client is a U.S. citizen or a legal permanent resident of the U.S.

Spouses and children may have different citizenships and residency status, which will also imapct the estate plan. Many non-resident aliens have children/grandchildren who are U.S. citizens. There may be significant transfer tax advantages of gifts and bequests from non-resident aliens to U.S. citizens.

Estate planning attorneys and tax advisers must also identify tax opportunities and risks for clients, understand the reporting issues that apply to the U.S. citizen recipients of gifts, and anticipate issues that arise when non-U.S. citizens acquire U.S. assets.

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 resident and non-resident aliens. The panel will also outline basic planning scenarios and key potential trouble spots and opportunities.



  1. Estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer tax rules applicable to aliens
    1. U.S. residents
    2. Non-U.S. residents
    3. Effect of bilateral estate and gift tax treaties
  2. Sample estate planning scenarios
    1. U.S. legal permanent resident married to U.S. citizen
    2. Both spouses are U.S. legal permanent residents
    3. Non-resident alien married to U.S. citizen
    4. Non-resident alien with U.S. assets
  3. Potential trouble spots
    1. Choosing executors/trustees
    2. Children with different citizenships
    3. Covered expatriates
  4. Potential opportunities
    1. Gifts/bequests by non-resident aliens
    2. Dynasty trusts
    3. Reporting issues for U.S. recipients


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • What estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer tax rules apply to resident and non-resident aliens?
  • What gift and bequest opportunities are available from non-resident aliens to U.S. citizens?
  • What are the reporting issues for counsel when U.S. citizen clients are recipients of gifts and bequests from non-resident aliens?


Dougherty, James
James I. Dougherty

Withers Bergman

Mr. Dougherty focuses his practice on probate, tax, trust, and estate issues. He assists executors and beneficiaries...  |  Read More

Dungey, Marissa
Marissa Dungey

Withers Bergman

Ms. Dungey's practice focuses on transfer tax planning, estate planning and trust structuring for wealthy...  |  Read More

Grinberg, Sasha
Sasha Grinberg


Ms. Grinberg is a member of the firm's Private Client Group. She represents individuals and fiduciaries with...  |  Read More

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