How Should I Leave Money to Family in France?

 In Non-US Citizens
heirs in France

Photo by Anthony Choren on Unsplash


I am a U.S. citizen in Indiana and I have family in France. How can I leave them money after I die?


For the most part it’s no different from leaving money to someone in the United States. You can simply name you’re family members as beneficiaries under your will or trust. However, it will make the process much easier if you name someone in the United States to act as your personal representative or trustee. This is a bit less important today than it used to be since now communications often occur over the internet or through video conferences. However, it’s sometimes much easier to sign documents move matters along if the responsible party can meet with the attorneys or go in person to banks and financial institutions.

In addition, banks and other financial institutions sometimes make it difficult for non-residents to gain access to accounts in the United States, though some allow access but no trading in the accounts. Fidelity Investments is an example of this last practice. If you named your family members in France as beneficiaries of accounts at Fidelity, they could liquidate them but not change the investments. A U.S. based personal representative or trustee could take such steps.

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