By Phillip B. Rarick, Esq. and Gene C. Sulzberger, CFP®, J.D.
In the United States there are multiple estate and gift tax traps if you are not a U.S. citizen or your spouse is not. If you are a non-resident, or a resident with a Green Card and own property in Florida or other parts of the United States, you need to know about these tax traps. U.S. estate and gift taxes are very harsh for the non-resident who has not done the proper planning.
Scenario: A non-resident, non-U.S. Citizen with no Green Card who purchases a $1.5 million house would trigger upon death in 2011 an estate tax of $495,000 and likely probate fees in Florida of at least $15,000.