If you inherit a home that is in another country, that property will be subject to foreign laws. Such ordinances can be complex, and you may find it difficult to navigate through these complicated statutes.
For example, some countries will not allow you to earn a profit off of your inheritance while other countries may not allow foreign beneficiaries to inherit at all.
What is ancillary probate law?
Ancillary probate law means filing probate in two separate courts at the same time, the one where you live and the one where the property is. Usually, you or whoever is handling the case for you must locate someone overseas who can file documents in the proper court.
Those who inherit property in another country discover that foreign estate laws are different from estate laws in the U.S. For example, heirs are typically not required to pay estate taxes in the U.S. unless they inherit millions of dollars. That is not the case in many other countries.
Will I pay an inheritance tax?
Ancillary probate issues can be challenging because they often involve complex tax scenarios. If you inherit an overseas home, the U.S. government will probably not require you to pay an estate tax. Chances are good, however, that you will have to pay estate taxes to a foreign government. Sometimes the tax that you owe may come to a substantial amount of the value of that property.
Losing someone you care about is tough, particularly when they lived far away. Understanding foreign estate laws can help to ensure you receive the property your loved one intended for you.