Estate taxes under the United Sates tax code are assessed to all residents both U.S. citizens and non-U.S. citizens after death. U.S. citizens are, however, treated differently than non-U.S. citizens in one critical respect. A surviving spouse, who is a U.S. citizen, may receive without limit, all property of a deceased spouse without the imposition of estate taxes. The value of this treatment for U.S. citizen surviving spouses is that it effectively postpones estate taxes on the property of the deceased until the death of the survivor. This is called the marital deduction. This favorable marital deduction is only available if the surviving spouse is a U.S. citizen. Estates of individuals with non-U.S. citizen spouses are taxed as if the deceased was single, widowed or divorced. Our firm specializes in unique legal services to provide you with comprehensive estate planning, including what we refer to as the Qualified Domestic Trust, designed to ensure that both spouses, no matter their citizenship status, receive the benefits of the marital deduction which will avoid premature payment of taxes and the unnecessary liquidation of family assets.