International Love Has Its (Legal) Challenges

06/12/2013

Globle with handsLove has no borders, of course, which may help explain why it's not just the economy that's gone global. To hear estate and tax planners talk, cross-border marriages are skyrocketing—along with a host of international estate and tax-planning headaches.

If you have an international family, then you know things can get complicated in a hurry. You are not alone. As the world becomes ever smaller, it logically follows that people of different nationalities will meet and tie the knot. That is when things can get knotty.

International marriage can trigger a taxation and estate planning headache.

In fact a recent article in The Wall Street Journal reported the following: "All told, nearly five million Americans in 2010 were married to someone who was born in another country, twice as many as in 1960, according to the Minnesota Population Center. Other countries have had similar jumps."

The article, titled "A Global Love Affair," observed that these global affairs bridge the invisible lines on the globes between nations and unite loving couples from Russia, the U.S., France, Germany, and places more exotic – then tie the laws of those same countries into knots.

If you and a loved one are separated by an incidental national barrier, then be wary of how the respective laws of your respective nation may conflict and potentially confound. There are almost as many sad legal stories as there are happy love stories.

For more information, please visit my estate planning website.

Reference: The Wall Street Journal (May 21, 2013) "A Global Love Affair"