A cursory glance at the headlines these days underscores how deeply we’re affected by what’s taking place around the world: The Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa has already hit home.
Fortunately, when we talk about “going global” in the context of estate planning, the consequences aren’t life threatening. As the world becomes increasingly international, clients need help preserving their assets and complying with myriad tax laws. As Cynthia Brittain and Suzanne Shier point out in their article “Crossing Borders: Planning for Wealth in Motion,” p. 39, these international trends present planning opportunities and potential pitfalls. Also, when individuals reside outside the United States and invest in U.S. assets, statutory executors need to know their U.S. federal estate tax compliance responsibilities and liabilities when a nonresident dies. In “The Federal Estate Tax Lien and Nonresident Decedents,” p. 45, Carmina Y. D’Aversa explains these compliance issues and suggests steps to avoid tax liability.
Issues also arise when assets are transferred from the United States to other countries. If your clients don’t disclose the assets they have outside the United States, they may land in hot water. As Dina Kapur Sanna and Sam C. Shulman share in “A Critical Time for Voluntary Disclosure of Offshore Assets,” p. 34, practitioners must ensure their clients are compliant with U.S. filings under the Internal Revenue Service’s Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program and the Streamlined Filing Compliance Procedures. Finally, practitioners who have clients connected with the 28 countries that joined Brussels IV will benefit from reading Barbara R. Hauser’s “Brussels IV is Now in Effect,” p. 30.
Switching gears, we’ve made some changes to our Valuations Committee. Annika Reinemann has stepped down and Espen Robak, president and founder of Pluris Valuation Advisors LLC in New York City has joined. He’s written articles for both our website and our print journal. We know he’ll be a valuable contributor to the board.
And, speaking of our board, it was a pleasure to thank them in person at our dinner on Sept. 29 (see photos on p. 52).