Can Non-US Citizens be Beneficiaries of a Trust?
My sister-in-law, age 79, just lost her 90-year-old husband. They held everything jointly, so there’s no problem now. But they didn’t have children and she is considering making a living trust to distribute her assets when she passes. Can she name her non-US citizen nieces and nephews as beneficiaries?
Yes, there isn’t a problem with doing so. There can be some issues with having non-US citizen trustees of trusts and more often issues with non-US resident trustees, whether or not they’re citizens. Many investment houses, such as Fidelity, Merrill Lynch, etc., require that all trustees are United States residents. But that restriction does not apply to beneficiaries.
Problems with Non-US Owners of US Investment Accounts
How Should I Leave Assets to a Beneficiary in Another Country?
Don’t know how your trust works?
Whether you’re creating a plan, managing a trust, or are a beneficiary of a trust, this book is your easy-to-read roadmap.
Can I leave my estate to a person who is in the US illegally?
Yes. The rules regarding wills and inheritance are state laws that have nothing to do with immigration status. However, anything left under a will is public information in the probate court. It might be wise to consider using a trust to keep everything private.