Interested in training for your team? Click here to learn more

Tax Elections in Estate Planning for Non-U.S. Residents: Sec. 645 Elections, Entity Classification, Risks

Treating Foreign Trusts as Part of the Foreign Estate and Mitigating Adverse Tax Implications of CFCs and PFICs

Note: CPE credit is not offered on this program

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

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford All-Access Pass. Click for more information.

Conducted on Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE course will focus on the key issues that arise for attorneys and tax advisers in estate planning for resident and nonresident aliens, focusing on relevant tax rules, tax elections, entity classifications, and potential estate planning pitfalls and opportunities. The panel will also discuss methods for treating foreign trusts as part of a foreign estate and mitigating adverse tax implications of CFCs and PFICs.


Nonresidents with assets in the U.S. must have a clear understanding of the implications of the U.S. estate and gift tax rules. Estate planners have to identify critical issues of residency, domicile, and tax treaties, as well as leverage tax elections to minimize any potential tax consequences of foreign trusts.

The tax laws that apply to U.S. citizens are different from those for non-citizens, with different rules applicable to resident aliens and nonresident aliens. Determining residency and domicile dictates the tax treatment for estate planning purposes. Inadequate planning may cause unnecessary estate and income taxes for non-U.S. citizens who own U.S. situated assets.

Also, estate planners must consider issues stemming from foreign trusts, controlled foreign corporations (CFCs), and passive foreign investment companies (PFICs). As applied to nonresident decedents with the intent to transfer assets to resident aliens, taxpayers can make specific trust and entity classification elections to mitigate adverse tax implications.

Listen as our panel discusses essential tax rules, tax elections, and entity classifications as tools to minimize the gift and estate taxes for non-U.S. residents.



  1. Complexities of cross-border estate tax planning
  2. Residency and domicile
  3. Transfer tax situs rules, treaties, and foreign tax credit
  4. Leveraging and issues with U.S. tax elections
  5. Nonresident decedents
    1. Foreign trusts; Section 645 elections
    2. Entity classification; eliminating CFCs and PFICs
    3. Elections to mitigate adverse taxation from PFICs


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • What are the estate planning challenges for nonresidents?
  • How do the concepts of citizenship, domicile, and residency impact planning?
  • What is the impact of transfer tax situs rules?
  • How can you leverage tax treaties and foreign tax credits?
  • How can you use U.S. tax elections in estate planning for nonresident decedents?
  • How can the Section 645 election be used for certain foreign trusts?
  • Hows does entity classification impact the treatment of CFCs and PFICs for purposes of estate planning?


Brister, Jack
Jack R. Brister, TEP

Managing Member
International Wealth Tax Advisors

Mr. Brister specializes in U.S. tax planning and compliance for non-U.S. families with international wealth and asset...  |  Read More

Christopher, Alistair
Alistair (Sandy) Christopher

Withers Bergman

Mr. Christopher assists successful U.S. and international individuals and their families in achieving their key tax and...  |  Read More

Szabo, Magda
Magda Szabo, CPA, JD, LL.M.

Tax Partner

Ms. Szabo is a founding member of CS CPA LLC. She is both an attorney and certified public accountant with a focus on...  |  Read More

Access Anytime, Anywhere

Strafford will process CLE credit for one person on each recording. All formats include course handouts.

To find out which recorded format will provide the best CLE option, select your state:

CLE On-Demand Video