Estate Law Questions? Ask an Estate Lawyer.
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Did your brother have his green card (i.e., was he a legal resident alien in the US)?
Further, had your brother lived in CT for quite some time and did he have an intent to stay there? Did he have most all ties in the US (and only maintained his Canadian citizenship)?
He has a green card that he does not have to renew so he has permanent residence status, he is now retired. He has lived in the US since 1981 and maintains only Canadian citizenship.
Okay, thanks. Then for US estate tax purposes he is considered a domiciliary. That means that he is taxed just like a US citizen. Currently, the estate tax applicable exclusion amount is $5.25 million. Thus, so long as your brother's worldwide assets are not valued at more than $5.25 million, no US estate taxes will be owed on his death. That means that when the condo in the US transfers to you, you will not be responsible for US estate taxes. Connecticut's estate tax works the same way but the exclusion is less -- $2 million. Thus, so long as your brother's estate is worth less than $2 million then no CT estate taxes would be owed. In that event, then no federal US estate taxes would be do either (because it's below the $5.25 million exclusion. Based on your facts about what he owns, then you would not owe any state or federal US estate tax.
Further, you would not owe any US income tax as inheritance is not income.
Finally, for the condo, you would get a new basis in the condo which is set at the value of the condo on the date of death. If you later sell the condo, the value at the time of the sale minus the basis (the value at the time of your brother's death) is your gain. That is taxable as a capital gain. That is the only tax that at some point you might incur but it's not a consequent of your brother's death and inheriting the property. Rather, it's simply a potential consequence of making a profit upon the sale of property that you own.
Once your brother passes away, you will need to retain a local CT attorney to assist you with the court process to transfer the property from your brother to the person or person's he leaves his property to (which we're assuming is you at this point). This court action is known as probate. The probate must take place in CT because that is where the condo is located.
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When I look for a local CT attorney, I look for one who's field is "Estate law" or should I be looking for another type ?
Yes, estate and/or probate law.
www.martindale.com and the CT bar association website would both be good places to start in searching for an attorney when the time comes.
Thank you. Can you think of anything else I should be aware of or look for information on ?
Not really. Since it appears there will be no tax concerns, it's really just a matter of completing probate once your brother passes away. I can't think of anything for you to be concerned with or be doing in the meantime. Thanks!
Thank you for your help, much appreciated.