How beneficiary can liquidate and take possession of assets outside of the US?

1 answer | Last updated: Sep 13, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

I'm 60, living alone in US. I intend to leave all my assets to niece and nephew living in Poland. If PoA expires with my death, how can they liquidate real estate that I own, take possession of bank accounts, transfer it to another country, in easiest possible maner? What legal documents will they need to do it, AFTER my death? I don't think I'll be able to help them then... :). How best to address associated with it, tax implications? I have no one in this country that I can trust with execution of my will.
I'll greatly appreciate any guidance. Thank you.

Expert Answers

You want to know what you can do to leave all your property to beneficiaries who live outside the country (in Poland). I gather that you will leave your relatives your property by your will. It is legal, under U.S. law, to leave property in the U.S. to beneficiaries who live outside it.

A will must name an executor, a person or institution who is responsible for carrying out the provisions of the will after you die. Whether you can name a relative in Poland as your executor depends on the law of the state you live in. But even if you could legally name a Polish relative as your executor, I doubt if it would be wise to do so. An executor must hire an attorney for the probate process required of wills. It would obviously be difficult, at best, for a Polish relative to hire a probate attorney where you live.

It is the job of the executor and probate attorney to get your property legally transferred to your beneficiaries in Poland.

If there is no person you know who you can trust to be your executor, your only other option is to appoint a financial institution as your executor. You could start by checking with whichever local bank you use, to see if they have a trust & wills department. If they don't, ask them who they recommend.

I do not know what requirements, if any, Polish law would impose on inheritances of U. S. property received by Polish citizens.