Qualified Domestic Trust Attorney in South Florida
Meeting the Estate Planning Needs of Non-Citizens
Estate planning is a complex area of law—especially if you or your loved one lack the full rights and benefits that come with U.S. citizenship. Immigration status can have a profound impact on your options within estate planning and what measures you may need to take to protect both your assets and potential beneficiaries.
At The Gaston Law Firm, P.A., we offer both immigration and estate planning services, which is why we are uniquely qualified to help non-citizens accomplish a wide range of estate planning goals. One device frequently used to meet clients’ needs is the qualified domestic trust, which allows non-citizens to receive the marital estate tax deduction when their spouse passes away. With extensive experience and well-honed skills, our attorney is fully equipped to help you understand and utilize this powerful type of trust.
What Is the QDOT Trust?
Typically, spouses qualify for a marital deduction on estate taxes when they inherit their deceased spouse’s estate. Only U.S. citizens, however, are eligible for this deduction.
The qualified domestic trust (QDOT) provides non-citizens with a way to access this deduction despite their immigration status. Any assets placed into this trust before the estate owner’s death can be inherited by their non-citizen spouse with the 100% marital deduction on any estate taxes owed. In other words, the non-citizen can inherit the assets in the QDOT without paying anything in taxes. As such, the QDOT is arguably the best way to protect the full value of marital assets when one spouse is a non-citizen.
To accomplish this goal, the QDOT’s trustee (the person or entity who manages the assets within the QDOT) must be either a U.S. citizen or a qualifying domestic corporation. Keep in mind that the estate tax does not permanently disappear—it must be paid once the surviving non-citizen spouse passes away.
If you would prefer not to establish this type of trust, your other option may be to acquire citizenship through naturalization. Learn more about this process, how to qualify, and potential benefits here.
Get Started on Your Estate Plan Today
Are you looking to the future with concern about how your immigration status (or the status of your loved one) may affect your estate? Whether a QDOT is right for you and your spouse depends on many different factors, and our attorney at The Gaston Law Firm, P.A. can closely analyze your case to determine the right way forward. No matter which estate planning strategy we use, you can trust us to prioritize your best interests and help you anticipate potential obstacles.