The selection of a qualified executor of an estate is essential to the future of your family. While a primary consideration in this choice should be a person’s judgment and ability to carry out your wishes, there are also legal considerations in determining who is qualified to serve this role.

Additionally, the citizenship status of a beneficiary to a will also has a profound impact on that will’s effect. If you intend to leave property or assets to a person who is not a United States citizen, you must be careful to make provisions that meet the legal requirements of both countries.

An attorney could help to answer your questions concerning the citizenship of beneficiaries and trustees in Naperville estate planning. With careful strategizing, an attorney could help to make the proper provisions to meet your goals after you pass on.

Who is Qualified to Serve as a Trustee?

The importance of selecting a qualified person to manage an estate after death is vital to the future of a family. While a person’s primary concern about qualifications may involve questioning a candidate’s ability to handle money and follow legal statutes, any choice for a trustee must also meet the state’s baseline requirements.

Under 755 ILCS 5/6-13, an administrator must be:

  • At least 18 years old
  • Of sound mind without disability
  • Free from any felony convictions
  • A resident of the United States

On first reading, this may appear to qualify any person living in the U.S. as an administrator. However, federal laws consistently define a resident of the United States as citizens living in the U.S. or lawful non-citizens living in the U.S. As a result, illegal aliens may not serve as trustees of an estate. An attorney in Naperville could provide more information about the legal requirements to serve as an administrator of an estate.

Potential Complications for Non-Citizen Beneficiaries

Nothing in the trust and estate laws of Naperville prevent a person from naming any other individual as the beneficiary of their estate. However, when these beneficiaries are not citizens of the U.S. and do not live in the country, this may create complex legal complications.

From a practical standpoint, it may be difficult to contact these beneficiaries or to have a secure way to transfer property, assets, or other items. However, the legal entanglements may be much more concerning.

Every country has its own laws concerning the distribution of assets after a death. Any estate administrator must be prepared to understand and comply with these laws. They may involve the payment of taxes in both countries, even if the beneficiary was the spouse of the deceased. Additionally, other forms of assets such as pension plans or insurance policies may contain special provisions in case the beneficiary lives out of the country. An attorney could help to craft estate plans that anticipate any potential citizenship question entanglements.

Citizenship of Beneficiaries and Trustees in Naperville Trust Planning Plays a Major Role for the Future

As a general rule, people are free to name any person or entity that they wish as a beneficiary in their wills, trusts, or other testamentary documents. However, they should only do so with a solid understanding that assets that leave the United States are subject to the laws of the other country as well as the U.S. This could result in the payment of double taxes as well as other rules concerning the movement of property.

Citizenship could also play a major role in nominating a trustee. State law says that only a resident of the United States may function as an administrator. This means that U.S. citizens and legal alien residents are the only qualified trustees. Naming an unqualified administrator could lead to a loss of control over the future of your estate. Let an attorney in Naperville provide assistance in naming a qualified administrator and in answering your questions concerning the residency of your beneficiaries.