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For Estate Planning, Estate Administration And Disputes

How can foreign nationals structure their real estate purchases?

On Behalf of | Jan 30, 2024 | Business Law, Estate Planning, Immigration Law, Real Estate Law |

The United States is the land of the free, and rightfully so. The country has no specific restrictions on real estate ownership for foreign nationals. If you are from a foreign country and are interested in purchasing property in New York, you should structure your purchase in the most beneficial way to your unique situation. Each option carries its unique blend of benefits and implications, particularly concerning taxes, estate planning and compliance with U.S. laws.

Individual ownership

Buying property directly in your name is straightforward, but it exposes you to certain risks and tax liabilities. As a non-resident, hefty estate taxes loom over your investment, potentially taking a significant bite out of your estate’s value for your heirs.

LLCs and corporate entities

You might consider holding your real estate through a Limited Liability Company (LLC) or other corporate entities. This approach offers you liability protection, keeping your personal assets separate from any legal issues related to the property. Moreover, it can provide a veil of privacy and yield favorable tax treatments. However, the right corporate structure for you depends on a range of factors, including your long-term goals and the nature of the property you plan to purchase.


Entering a partnership can be an effective way to invest, especially if you are not going it alone. A partnership agreement outlines the responsibilities and rights of each party, providing clarity and a framework for decision-making. The right partnership structure can make all the difference in managing the property and sharing the profits or losses.


A trust might be the key to unlocking estate planning benefits and tax advantages that other structures cannot offer. By placing the property in a trust, you can ensure a smoother transition of assets, possibly bypass the probate process and provide clear directions on managing the property upon your passing. You can even predesignate a fiduciary from New York with experience in dealing with legal and tax concerns.

You need a strategy that aligns with your financial realities and investment objectives. It is essential to figure out how to minimize your liabilities while ensuring full compliance with U.S. tax laws. The problem is that the laws and rules can be very confusing, especially when you are not from here. Plus, there are a lot of requirements. You need all the help you can get to maximize your investment and protect it.