Zurich, Switzerland

Swiss Retrocessions

By Helen Burggraf, Guest author for US Tax & Financial Services

Americans, Brits and others with Swiss bank accounts prior to 2012 are being warned that time is running out for them to get back any hidden commissions they may have paid.This comes in the wake of a recent Swiss Supreme Court ruling which updated four earlier decisions, and which, some say, has shone a timely spotlight on a littleknown virtual pot of unclaimed cash…

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San Cristobal de las Casas, Mexico

This Pandemic Can Cause Drastic and Unexpected Changes, Are You Prepared?

By Prof Sergio Guerrero Rosas, Guerrero y Santana, S.C.

These are strange times we are living in. All around the globe, everything in life has changed, from daily routines, job structure, even home life; that is why preparation and readiness to undertake drastic change in our lives should be top priorities for everyone. In this uncertain time, a renewed focus should ensure that preparation includes having an up-to-date estate plan.

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group work and social distancing

Estate Plan Activity Increases in Response to Pandemic

By Bill Brammell, DBL Law

The coronavirus pandemic is affecting people personally and professionally. Over the last six months it has become apparent that estate planning is at the forefront of many clients’ minds as focus has turned to protecting both assets and loved ones. GGI member firm DBL Law estimates that its attorneys have spent 16% more time providing legal assistance for wills and estate planning clients thus far in 2020 compared with 2019. There has been an increase in the number of individuals under 50 years of age that are interested in preparing a will, trust, health directive, guardianship, or other estate-planning document, many citing the need to take precautions “just in case”.

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Edmonton, Canada

Use of Hybrid Canadian Partnerships in Canadian Estate Planning

By Greg Gartner and Jeanne Posey, Moodys Gartner Tax Law LLP

US estate tax arises on the death of an individual and is applied at graduated rates to the fair-market value of the individual’s taxable estate. The same rates for estate tax apply regardless of whether the individual is a US citizen, US resident, or non-resident of the US. The main difference is that for non-residents, only the value of the US-situs assets is included in calculating the taxable estate.

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Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Cross-Border Estate Planning and Succession

By Prof Sergio Guerrero Rosas, Guerrero y Santana, S.C.

Cross-border business can get very complex and Mexico is no exception. Mexico is a great location to buy real estate for business; it is a cheaper option in terms of labour costs and a perfect location for business with the US as well as Central and South America. Some just enjoy Mexico for its beauty and buy real estate in search of warmer weather for a vacation property. This acquisition can come from a purchase or succession – either way property ownership in Mexico comes with expenses, risks, and taxes from local and federal laws.

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London, UK

Use of Foreign Trusts in the UK

By Maxine Higgins and Emma Florentin-Lee, Citroen Wells Chartered Accountants

Trusts have a long history in the UK as a means for individuals to protect, control, and manage the use of assets and ultimately how these assets are passed on to the next generation. They have offered tax advantages, although over the years these have been eroded for UK-domiciled trusts. There is still a significant tax advantage for non-UK domiciliaries to transfer their non-UK assets to a non-UK resident trust. This article solely concerns the protection afforded from UK inheritance tax (IHT) but there can also be income tax and capital gains tax mitigation.

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Benefits of Investing in Uruguay

By Natalia Silva Isasmendi, Carle & Andrioli Contadores Públicos

Uruguay is part of the most important commercial axis in South America, which includes Brasilia, Río de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Santiago de Chile, Montevideo, and Buenos Aires. The axis has the largest urban concentration with 400 million people and 68% of Latin America’s GDP.

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Update on South Africa’s Consideration of a Wealth Tax Regime

By Simphiwe Mili, Nolands

In 2015, the Davis Tax Committee was tasked to investigate the relevance of estate duty in the South African (“SA”) tax regime. The committee’s first interim report proposed abolishing estate duty and replacing it with a wealth tax. In 2018, the Davis Tax Committee was tasked with investigating the feasibility of a wealth tax in South Africa and this included investigating whether the wealth tax would perform better relative to estate duty. The debate between the proponents and the opponents of this tax has gained much momentum since 2018 and a specifically interesting debate is how this tax affects inheritance.

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Worcester, USA

Mediating Probate, Trust, and Fiduciary Disputes

By Patricia L. Davidson, Mirick, O’Connell, DeMallie & Lougee, LLP

Probate, trust, and fiduciary litigation is usually contentious. Will contests, breach of fiduciary duty claims, objections to accounts, etc. are often fraught with simmering, often irrational, emotions. Litigation can dissipate family assets and perpetuate conflict, often across multiple generations. Because these disputes involve more than money, “family feuds” are well suited to mediation.

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old opera Frankfurt, Germany

Tax Implications of Beneficiaries of Foreign Trusts Moving to Germany

By Oliver Biernat, Benefitax GmbH

Germany is beautiful and there are many good reasons to move here. Tax advantages are usually not among them and before packing your suitcases you should take a minute or two and consider the tax implications that may have. This is especially true if you own a company abroad where there is no German equivalent (e.g., LLC) or if you are the beneficiary of a foreign trust. The problem is that German tax authorities are very suspicious if you own something they cannot easily understand or rate and there are no clear rules how this is handed tax-wise.

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