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Estate Planning for Residents Who Are Not Australian Citizens

For those who are not Australian citizens, it's important to consider whether your country of citizenship has inheritance tax laws that tax worldwide assets, including those you own or control in Australia. Evaluate if your citizenship impacts your Australian residency status and the residency tests for taxation purposes. This could have adverse tax effects if you or your nominated beneficiaries are non-residents for tax purposes.

Also, consider whether any of your chosen executors are non-residents, as your estate could be deemed a "non-resident trust" for taxation purposes.

Consider whether you hold assets in a foreign jurisdiction, whether in a "common law" jurisdiction or a civil law jurisdiction, such as countries in continental Europe. If you do hold assets in another country, check if that country is a ratified signatory to the Convention Providing a Uniform Law on the form of an International Will developed by UNIDROIT. Discuss with your nominated Inherit lawyer the merits and possibility of making your Will an "International Will" to apply to your worldwide assets. Otherwise, you may need to make a Will in each country where you hold assets.

Consider the following:

a) Do you hold assets overseas? Where are they located, what are they, and how are they held?

b) Are those assets held in a common law jurisdiction or a civil law jurisdiction with rules relating to forced inheritance?

c) What is your residency and domicile status in Australia?

d) Are you a beneficiary of a foreign trust?

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