If you own (or expect to own) substantial foreign assets, we recommend you speak to an attorney because these cases can involve complex jurisdiction, estate and tax issues both in the US and in the foreign country.
Can I put my foreign assets into a Trust I created at California Trusts Online? Maybe. Maybe not.
By “foreign assets” we mean real property located outside of the United States, shares or equity in legal entities organized under the laws of another country, bank and investment accounts “booked” with a foreign financial institution.
If you have an investment account at an American financial institution that contains foreign investments, you can put that investment account into your Trust created at California Trusts Online. (Example: you own shares of a mutual fund at an American financial institution that owns shares in overseas companies.)
If you own real estate outright in another country, you cannot put that foreign real estate into a Trust created at California Trusts Online. (Examples: you own an apartment in another country or you have a lease for 100 years in another country.)
If you own an interest in a foreign entity which is not managed by an American financial institution, you cannot put that foreign business interest into a Trust created at California Trusts Online. (Example: you own shares of stock in a foreign corporation that are not part of an American-managed mutual fund.)
If you have a bank account in another country, you cannot put that bank account into your Trust created at California Trusts Online. (Example: you have a savings account in another country.)
If you own an interest in a foreign entity that is governed by an agreement, the terms of that agreement will determine which country’s laws apply to that agreement, which will determine whether you can put your interest in that foreign company into a domestic Trust. Essentially, if the agreement is governed by US law, then you can put it into a US Trust. However, if it’s governed by the laws of another country, then you cannot put it into a US Trust and you should consult with a lawyer in that country.
If you own any of these foreign assets that cannot be managed by a California Trusts Online Trust, you may end up with multiple Trusts in multiple countries.
If you are not sure what type of foreign asset you own, if the asset is of relatively small value, and if you want to be cautious, you can include your foreign asset on your list of assets governed by your California Trusts Online Trust. However, there is no guarantee that the foreign investment will be governed by your California Trusts Online Trust.
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