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I am a French citizen on a G4 visa living in the US and married to a US citizen with no children. I want to ensure that in case I was to pass away my spouse would inherit everything from me. Should I make a will or a trust?

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  • I have correct a few spelling mistakes and grammar errors. If I have done so incorrectly, please revert the change and fix them correctly. Jan 9, 2019 at 22:25
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    Your immigration status probably has no effect under the laws of your state of residence, but you'll also want to look into whether your estate (or any part of it) would be subject to French law.
    – phoog
    Jan 9, 2019 at 23:03

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You should almost certainly write a will. Depending on the state in which you live, it is just possible that will not be necessary. However to write the will, I very very strongly suggest you consult a lawyer; this is particularly true because you are an ex-pat. (DIY wills can easily cause a great deal more trouble). If the intestacy laws in your state are such that you don't need a will, the lawyer can tell you that.

The lawyer can also advise on how to write the will to minimize any taxes (and that may require a trust).

Top tip: Don't let the lawyer write themselves in as executor. Appoint your spouse, and they can negotiate for the lawyer's services if needed at the time (they probably won't be).

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