The United States has often been called the "great melting pot of the world" because of the large numbers of foreign-born individuals that can be found here. In fact, according to the 1990 U.S. Census, 19.8 million people living in the United States were foreign-born, including nearly 260,000, or 2.4%, of Ohioans. Nearly 12 million of those foreign-born and living in the U.S. were not U.S. citizens and in 1996, Ohio alone was home to 113,000 legal permanent resident aliens. In addition to these resident aliens, large numbers of nonresident aliens, such as the more than 19 million alien tourists, 610,000 temporary workers and 426,000 students, spent time in the United States in 1996. Why are all these numbers important to us? Because in addition to these nonresident alien individuals in our population, over 10 million of the noncitizens living in the U.S. were 18 years old or older and could thus plan for their future by executing estate plans. These numbers are also important because the entire worldwide estate of U.S. citizens and resident aliens is subject to estate tax, but only the portion of a nonresident alien's estate that is situated in the U.S. will be subject to the U.S. estate tax. It thus becomes crucial to determine the alien client's status and draft an estate plan most beneficial to the client and his heirs. Estate planning considerations for aliens may vary from those of U.S. Citizens and the purpose of this article is to highlight the areas of difference and similarity and to address the basic estate planning needs of these noncitizens.

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