Both my wife and I are green card permanent residents but are not us citizens should in the event of a death. Of one spouse all properties bank accounts ect are trans to the remaining spouse without paying estate taxes untill the second spouse dies.this I understand is how it works ie marital exclusion for couples who are both u.s.citizens.my question is what is or is there a difference with my wife and I who. Have been in the us for over 50 years and have no intention of leaving permanently. I thank you for your time and look forward to reading your answers. Jim

Terry Says:

Whew — this was an interesting question to research, and I don’t want to practice international estate tax law without a license.  I’m going to give you a link to a publication by Deloitte, explaining the estate tax protocol for resident aliens (green card holders).  The critical thing is whether you are “domiciled” in the US permanently, which your question indicates is the case.  Then the rules seem to be the same as for citizens.  But I’m going to urge you to read this paper — and then follow up with an estate planning specialist.   And, remember, your state of residence may have its own estate tax law that does not necessarily coincide with the Federal law, so find an attorney in your state.