Anyone of legal age can plan an estate. Even those living in Alabama, but who are not U.S. citizens, can make estate planning decisions, although they may come up against some challenges. The United States treats residents who aren't citizens similarly to citizens. However, nonresident aliens will see a difference when it comes to the tax treatment of their estates.
It is different when a person is not a citizen, yet has a domicile in the U.S. The powers that be look at a number of things when considering if a noncitizen actually has a domicile. Those include how much actual time is spent in the states, the values of any residences or businesses and their locations, community ties, where family members are located and the status of visas.
Residents are treated like U.S. citizens in that they must pay estate and gift taxes federally on what they own anywhere. But they can also reap the rewards of an $11.18 million lifetime gift and estate tax exemption and also an annual gift tax exclusion of $15,000. Noncitizens married to citizens are able to double that gift tax exclusion, making it $30,000 annually.
Other issues involving tangible assets and intangible assets -- like stocks and bonds -- are more complicated. Advice from an Alabama attorney may be helpful in this estate planning regard. An attorney will understand the ramifications of noncitizen status when it comes to planning an estate, so that his or her client has more to pass on to beneficiaries.