Probate Strategies When Nonresident/Non-Citizen Decedents Own U.S. Assets: Legal, Tax, and Practical Issues

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

Conducted on Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926
Course Materials

This CLE course will provide estate planning counsel with a review of critical issues that arise when a nonresident decedent's estate owns assets in the United States. The panel will explain the practical challenges in obtaining original or ancillary probate or administration, potential conflicts between the law of decedents' domicile and U.S. inheritance law, the relevance of foreign marital property rules and U.S. recognition of foreign marriages, U.S. estate taxation issues, and collection procedures.


As the number of nonresident high net worth clients who own property in the United States continues to rise, estate planning practitioners need to recognize the unique issues in connection with non-citizen decedents. Counsel must prepare to advise on estate and gift tax planning with an eye toward probate, estate administration, and the administration of trusts.

U.S. tax law provides rules for determining whether a person is a nonresident and the situs of assets. Treaty provisions that overrule the Code are not always intuitive, and the differences raise issues not encountered with the administration of the estates of U.S citizens and domiciliaries.

Counsel must understand the practical issues in obtaining original or ancillary probate or administration, potential conflicts between civil law of the nonresident's domicile and U.S. inheritance laws, U.S. treatment of marital property regimes, U.S. estate tax situs rules, and estate tax treaties and collection procedures.

Listen as our panel of experienced international estate planning attorneys discusses legal, tax, and practical issues that arise when nonresidents/non-citizen decedents own U.S. assets. The panel will also identify potential trouble spots and pitfalls to avoid.



  1. Practical issues in obtaining original or ancillary probate or administration
    1. Potential conflicts between civil law of decedent's domicile and U.S. inheritance law
    2. The relevance of foreign marital property rules
  2. U.S. estate taxation basics
    1. Situs rules
    2. Determining the taxable estate
    3. Application of estate tax treaties
  3. Collection procedures
    1. Who pays the tax
    2. Federal transfer tax certificates
  4. Multi-jurisdictional estate litigation


The panel will review these and other crucial issues:

  • What are the practical considerations for counsel involving original or ancillary probate or trust administration?
  • What are the potential conflicts between the civil law of the decedent's domicile and U.S. inheritance law?
  • What are the U.S. estate tax issues for estate planning counsel?
  • What are the most problematic collection procedures?


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

Fung, T. Sandra
T. Sandra Fung

Withers Bergman

Ms. Fung is part of the firm's private client and tax team. Her practice focuses on private wealth matters with an...  |  Read More

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