Dealing with an estate after a loved one has died is often complex and takes some time, but things are made even more difficult if the estate contains foreign assets. New York probate courts can handle some of your needs when it comes to foreign assets but not all of them. There are a few things that could cause issues as you work through probate with this type of estate.
The American Bar Association explains that the first issue you may come across is with the will. This is especially true if there are two wills, one in each country. Often a foreign country will not recognize a U.S. will and the U.S. may not recognize a foreign will. While it may not help you at this moment, if you have foreign assets, your best option may be an international will. In the meantime, for your loved one’s estate, you may have to work from both wills in each country.
The other major issue you will probably come across is taxation. The chances are that the estate will face double taxation. The foreign country will want to tax the estate, and of course, the U.S. will also want to tax the estate. There are some treaty agreements with certain countries that may prevent double taxation, but this is something that is difficult to avoid unless your loved one planned ahead and set things up to avoid taxation in each locale.
This information does not constitute legal advice. It is for educational use only.