Chapin Hill Advisors

International Planning

Chapin Hill Advisors has expertise in planning for individuals who may reside in other countries as expatriates as well as clients who have dual citizenship and worldwide assets. We typically work closely with our client’s tax advisor as well as trust and estate attorneys with international expertise to create a comprehensive plan.

For our expatriate clients, we will assess tax treatment on assets and income both near and long term. We may plan for our clients to live offshore for a period of time and then review the costs of reentry to the United States. Clients who have been living overseas may have to purchase and furnish a home entirely upon their return to the States. One spouse may decide not to return to work or both spouses may choose to work outside of the home and hire a nanny to care for their children. This may necessitate the purchase of three automobiles in addition the home and furnishings. Our approach takes all of these issues into account as we run various sets of future projections and create a plan for our clients to save and invest to prepare for these future expenses.

We can also assist our client in assessing what type of role they may wish to assume once they return to the States. Living abroad may have entitled them to a number of benefits including housing allowances, cost of living allowances, stock options/warrants and other perks which will disappear upon their return Stateside.  We are not compensation experts but can introduce a resource if needed. We have experience assisting our clients in negotiating for additional benefits, bonuses or equity to offset some of the reduction in benefits they will experience upon moving back to the States.

Our clients may wish to remain overseas for the foreseeable future and if so, we then help them decide if they wish to purchase real estate in either the U.S. or overseas and what, if any, potential tax and estate tax consequences may result. Some countries, such as Bermuda, only allow U.S. citizens to purchase real estate which exceeds a large dollar amount. This may be unattainable and our clients may have to consider a long term rental scenario.

Some of our U.S. clients have married a foreign national. If so, the planning can become quite complex as their estate could be subject to a local transfer or estate tax as well as a U.S. estate tax. Implementing trusts can be challenging in these situations and titling of assets becomes critical. The next generation is included in our planning as they often hold dual citizenship so we may face the challenge of both types of estate tax moving forward. Purchasing insurance can be much more complex in these situations as well as many companies in the U.S. will not insure clients abroad. We work again with our broad array of experts to assist our clients in implementation of the best plan possible.

Our clients with dual citizenship have different needs depending on their personal circumstances. We may review whether the children would attend boarding school or college in their country of origin. Or perhaps they will or have inherited property in their native country. Another concern is often who would care for the children should something happen to the parents and often the closest family members live in their country of origin.  We might help our clients review what type of education system is available if the kids go to live with grandparents or siblings in their birth nation. We review and discuss the best choices for guardian for the children as well as who would serve as trustee for any trusts created for the children’s financial security.

Planning for clients with dual citizenship may also entail care for their parents as they age. Perhaps they would want their parents to come live with them or nearby in the U.S. We review these scenarios and run illustrations for a potential addition to their home, parents living in their starter home which reduces their income from rental or a purchase of a home in which the parents would reside.  If parents plan to reside in the U.S. what documents would be needed short term and longer term. These may include durable power of attorney, health care proxies and possibly trusts as well. How to transition from another country to residing in the U.S. and where the parents may live, what income sources they have and what future healthcare needs might arise are all part of our future planning.

Planning for international clients is much more complex. An experienced trust and estate attorney as well as a tax expert with knowledge and experience in working with international clients become an integral part of our team as we work in concert to assist our clients in reviewing the potential complexities and arriving at the best possible solutions.