If my husband and I live in the US and he is a citizen but I am not, do we need to do anything special regarding our Wills?

I’m a green card holder and have lived in the US for 25 years. My husband is US citizen. I have 3 children (not his) – 2 are US citizens, 1 is green card holder. We both need to set up wills and “last wishes”. In case of death, his money will come to me, my assets will go to my children (he doesn’t need/want any of it). We only have about 300k in assets each, and keep separate finances. Can we do just simple self-written documents and have them notarized, or do we need something more complicated because of the Finnish and US citizenships?

Asked on August 28, 2014 under Estate Planning, Oregon


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Non-citizens can do estate planning and write Wills just like citizens and green card holders can inherit like citizens as well. There are, though, some issues with estate planning being married to a non-citizen that you may want to discuss prior to writing your Will. These are really tax issues (the marital deduction etc.) that will be affected by the fact that you are a non citizen. So a consultation would be a good idea.  And in Oregon a will is valid if it is signed by the decedent in the presence of two witnesses.  It doesn't matter whether the will is written longhand or typed; instead, the key requirement is two witnesses. Good luck.

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