The Law Offices of Scott Alan Morrison, P.A.
Please Call For An Appointment

Estate administration strategy affected by non-citizen spouses

When it comes to estate planning, most people are worried about avoiding tax liabilities from the estate tax. One of the most common ways that people do this is by making sure to leave as many of their assets to their spouse as possible. This is usually a good estate administration strategy because the current law allows unlimited exemptions for assets left to a spouse in Maryland and other states. However, this strategy does not work the same way when one or both spouses is a non-citizen.

Most of the estate tax laws apply in the same way for citizens as it does for non-citizens living in the United States, otherwise known as resident aliens. This means resident aliens also receive the same exemption for the estate tax as any other individual, which as of 2014 is $5.34 million per person. However, resident aliens are not eligible for the usual exemption for assets given to spouses.

On the other hand, there are several options for overcoming the problem with the estate tax for non-citizen spouses. One option is to have the resident alien spouse become an American citizen. This can happen after one has passed away, but the spouse must have obtained citizenship before the due date for filing the estate tax return to the Internal Revenue Service.

After one has determined the best estate administration strategy in Maryland, he or she will need to implement the strategy. This will require drafting the necessary legal documents which will make up an estate plan. It is important to carefully word the estate planning documents in order to ensure they do what one has intended. Even a small mistake can cause future legal problems for intended heirs -- so it can be important to have a proper understanding of all applicable laws.

Source: MarketWatch, Estate planning with a non-citizen spouse, Bill Bischoff, Feb 19, 2014

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
  • Best Of The Best The Frederick News Post
  • Bar Association Of Frederick County, Maryland
  • NAELA National Academy Of Elder Law Attorneys, Inc.
  • Maryland State Bar Association Inc.
  • Washington County Bar Association , DC Bar
  • Law Offices of Scott Alan Morrison is a BBB Accredited Lawyer in Frederick, MD
Form Submit Button

Schedule Your Free Consultation Today

For more information and a free consultation with a Maryland estate planning attorney, call us at 301-694-6262 or fill out the form below. We provide clients with the estate services they need.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

We have offices in Frederick and Maryland, to serve you.

Evening, weekend and off-site appointments are available upon request. Free parking is available at our Frederick office.

Our office will follow the same closing & delays as Frederick County Public Schools for both offices due to inclement weather.

The Law Offices of Scott Alan Morrison, P.A.
141 W Patrick Street
Suite 300
Frederick, MD 21701

Toll Free: 866-220-5185
Phone: 301-694-6262
Fax: 301-668-8884
Map & Directions
Frederick Law Office Map

Contact This Office Contact This Office