Any and all real estate deals involve significant legal consideration.
Real estate deals entail, among others, carrying out an efficient negotiation process, entering into and signing several agreements, ensuring compliance with applicable legal requirements and formalities, performing title searches and reviews, requesting and delivering insurance policies to safeguard such titles and property, and rigorously closing such deals.
Furthermore, when an international investor decides to invest in real estate in the US, the legal issues requiring professional attention are even more complex.
Real estate investments by foreign nationals require, in the first place, a legal corporate structure that, depending on each specific case, could imply the need to establish one or more corporations in the US or even in an offshore jurisdiction with a more benevolent tax system.
Establishing such corporations for foreign nationals performing real estate investments in the US is of utmost importance. These legal entities constitute the means to limit the personal responsibility of investors and to sever their personal assets from those used to realize the investment in the US. Additionally, corporations may afford the investor the possibility to maximize applicable tax benefits, thus reducing the tax burden.
The extremely high tax burden arising out of or deriving from US estate or inheritance taxes is particularly relevant in this context. Without a properly designed legal structure including, on a case by case basis, an estate asset protection structure involving corporations in the US and/or in offshore jurisdictions, as well as other important available legal means, such as a Trust, foreign investors and/or their heirs could find themselves significantly unprotected or at risk.
All of the above, among other reasons, evidences the need and relevance of engaging a highly qualified professional legal advisor prior to investing in real estate in the US. It is also the main reason for which a foreign investor should not avail himself or herself simply of the services of a real estate broker, but rather of a specialized real estate brokerage firm, such as DGS REAL ESTATE, that provides him or her with integral advise that addresses, handles and solves all applicable legal, tax, financial and accounting issues during the investment process.