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Citizenship of Beneficiaries and Trustees in Wake Forest Estate Planning

Two of the most important aspects of creating a Trust are the nominations of beneficiaries and trustees. Beneficiaries are the people you wish to inherit your property once you pass away, while a trustee is the person who will oversee the proper transfer of your assets. In general, any party can stand to inherit property under a Trust, and almost any person over the age of 18 can be a trustee.

However, there are several considerations when deciding who to name in your Trust. For instance, the citizenship status of beneficiaries or trustees could affect the administration of an estate and whether heirs can inherit the maximum benefit from a Trust.

A knowledgeable attorney can answer your questions regarding the citizenship of beneficiaries and trustees in Wake Forest estate planning. Reach out today to address your concerns and learn the relevant laws for your circumstances.

The Impact of Citizenship Status on Trustees

Under North Carolina Revised Statutes § 36C-4-401, nominating a trustee is one of the requirements to create a legally valid Trust. This person will take temporary control of the property in the Trust and distribute it to the named beneficiaries. As such, a trustee must be able to take an active role in the administration of the Trust.

Because of the duties required of a trustee, it may be difficult for a person without United States citizenship to fulfill the role. For instance, a trustee may need to open a bank account at a local financial institution. They may also need to appear in court to present evidence of effective Trust administration.

As such, a person who cannot move freely within the United States or who lacks the necessary documentation to create a bank account may not be able to effectively serve as a trustee. It is recommended that you consult an experienced attorney before nominating a non-U.S. citizen as a trustee in Wake Forest.

Trust Beneficiaries without U.S. Citizenship

Under the law, there is no limitation on who can inherit under a Trust. A beneficiary can even be a child as long as the property remains in the Trust until they turn 18. People without United States citizenship can also be beneficiaries, even if they have never been in the country.

However, attempting to transfer property to a person who lives out of the country may create complications. While United States law says that property can move through a Trust tax-free, this is not the case in other places. If a beneficiary is a citizen of another nation, or even if they have dual citizenship, the other country could take a portion of the property that moves through the Trust. For this reason, if you are considering naming foreign citizens as beneficiaries for a Trust in Wake Forest, you should first discuss with a seasoned attorney.

Call a Wake Forest Lawyer to Learn More about Citizenship of Beneficiaries and Trustees

Although the law does not specifically prohibit anyone from being a beneficiary or trustee, a person’s citizenship status could be an important factor in how they will receive property or oversee the Trust. A trustee must be able to properly fulfill their duties, which may include opening bank accounts and appearing in local court. For beneficiaries, holding citizenship in another country could expose the Trust property to taxation.

If you are creating a Trust, speak to a skilled lawyer about the citizenship of beneficiaries and trustees in Wake Forest estate planning. Call today to learn more about how these choices may impact your estate plan.