The primary focus of the Committee on International Estate and Trust Law of the NYSBA International Section is to bring together estate and trust practitioners from around the world in order to determine the most effective way to plan for clients with assets in multiple jurisdictions, especially in light of the differences in the succession and tax laws in the civil and common law jurisdictions. Another important goal is to raise awareness among practitioners of the International Section who do not practice trusts and estates law of how international trust and estate issues may impact their areas of practice.
The Committee is currently focusing on areas of New York law that will make New York a jurisdiction that supports estate planning for international families and a forum from which it is easy to administer estates and trusts with international connections. We want to inform both New York and non-New York lawyers about the ways New York law is conducive to international estate planning and work to reform New York law with respect to those areas of New York law that could better facilitate international estate and trust administration. We have and continue to meet out goals by inviting speakers from foreign jurisdictions to address our committee on topics of interest, propose state and federal legislation to make it easier for clients with contacts in other countries to implement more streamlined estate plans, and conduct CLE courses oriented towards increasing knowledge and awareness of international trusts and estates among attorneys and legal professionals in New York and beyond New York.
The Committee played an important role in renewing interest in the ratification by the United States of the 1985 Hague Convention on the Recognition of Trusts and will be looking for new opportunities to promote US ratification after the current election season. The legislative projects the Committee is working on include a proposed amendment to the New York Surrogate’s Court Procedures Act, currently in draft, that would enable inter-vivos trusts to register as New York trusts.