Assets & Dual Citizenship

Over 25 million Italians have emigrated between 1861 and 1960 with a migration boom between 1871 and 1915 when over 13,5 million emigrants left the country for European and overseas destinations.
PiaD
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Assets & Dual Citizenship

Postby PiaD » 03 Aug 2011, 00:59

A friend of mine has recently learned that if she perishes and is not a citizen of the
USA at the time, their assets will awarded to the State or Government per se and not
her family.
She is looking into dual citizenship as well. I wondered if this was true
or where a good area would be to research this for her.

Thanks for your help in advance.
This may also be a good topic to look into for those looking to obtain
dual citizenship. I'm curious now myself.

Thanks Again! :)

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Steverino3006
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Re: Assets & Dual Citizenship

Postby Steverino3006 » 05 Aug 2011, 06:27

How did she "learn" that? It certainly doesn't sound right. Where is she domiciled? The laws of that state would govern.

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KarenChristino
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Re: Assets & Dual Citizenship

Postby KarenChristino » 05 Aug 2011, 18:39

I am not a lawyer, but as Steve says, that does not sound right. If she dies in the U.S., her estate would typically be handled by her closest relative. If no one is available to serve, then the Public Administrator of the County where she died would represent her interests. They are bound to do due diligence to research who and where her family members are. If any are not able to be found, the funds eventually pass to the City only for safekeeping for that person. Perhaps that is where the misunderstanding has come in. I don't believe they can actually ever take personal assets unless they have a lien for taxes owed or something like that. And I don't think it makes any difference what citizenship the person holds.

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Steverino3006
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Re: Assets & Dual Citizenship

Postby Steverino3006 » 05 Aug 2011, 18:46

Actually, if absolutely no relative can be found, and there is not will or trust, assets will escheat to the state. But that is a far cry from what "a friend has learned" in the o.p.

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KarenChristino
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Re: Assets & Dual Citizenship

Postby KarenChristino » 05 Aug 2011, 18:49

I believe the banks hold onto the funds for 5 years if there is no activity or contact from the owner. Then they pass to the State's office of unclaimed funds but it is an easy matter to collect that directly with a simple application.

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Steverino3006
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Re: Assets & Dual Citizenship

Postby Steverino3006 » 05 Aug 2011, 18:53

KarenChristino wrote:I believe the banks hold onto the funds for 5 years if there is no activity or contact from the owner. Then they pass to the State's office of unclaimed funds but it is an easy matter to collect that directly with a simple application.



It is definately NOT an easy matter in California. In fact, it got so bad that the state does not accept funds like this anymore, just the info to add to their database. It is quite a mess.

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KarenChristino
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Re: Assets & Dual Citizenship

Postby KarenChristino » 05 Aug 2011, 19:43

I am in NYS and SO I spoke out of school as each state is different. What a shame that things have gotten so complicated in CA. But to answer Pia's question, the bottom line is that people's assets are their own and cannot be "awarded to" the government without procedures to collect them.

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Re: Assets & Dual Citizenship

Postby PiaD » 08 Aug 2011, 07:16

Hi:

Thanks everyone for your responses!

I imagine this information was hearsay or a thought. This came from a couple who are from Canada living in PA. Neither one of them are citizens, yet they have young children who were born in the US. Based on some research I did, it looks as though that a living relative would acquire the assets. My other advice to them was that they should have a will in Canada and the US until they decide on their citizenship. I'm hoping that was a good direction to lead them to.

My apologies, I just realized I should have posted this in another topic versus here.

Thank you again. This is in an interesting discussion and I hope to others as well.

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Re: Assets & Dual Citizenship

Postby JJ313 » 08 Aug 2011, 19:16

There are many issues dealing with wills and estates and if you have a significant amount of property and/or specific wishes as to how that property is transferred consult an attorney. Please note that someone can only have one will as any time you execute a will you remove all previous wills. Where a person dies has no bearing as to which court has jurisdiction over the estate. A person's domicile controls that and you would probate the will or follow the laws of that jurisdiction if the individual died intestate (without a will). How you determine domicile is complicated and fact driven and you should consult an attorney. The will or the jurisdiction's intestacy laws will govern all property that is part of the probate estate regardless of where it is located. I make this distinction as the majority of property passes outside of probate (note that it does fall within the taxable estate). For example, if you hold property jointly as husband and wife (in most cases a home, the technical term is Tenants by the Entirety) that property passes by operation of law regardless of what you say in your will. There are exceptions to this such as simultaneous death, but I will leave that alone for now.


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