Beyond Tax Savings: Protecting Wealth and Well-being

As discussed in Parts 1 and 2 of our series on notable Backup Plans, most of our clients have more than tax savings on their mind when they come to us seeking the “fire Insurance” of second residences and citizenships as part of a their “fire escape plan” to protect their family’s wealth….and well-being.

In Part 1 we described how an American family used the second residence component of their Backup Plan to escape the life-altering impact of a major climate event. To drive home the possibility that climatic events can happen to anyone, a few weeks after posting Part 1, destructive wildfires swept across parts of Central and Western Canada and Hawaii…followed by the most severe tropical storm to hit California in 84 years…directly impacting some of our clients and family members!

In Part 2 we showed how geopolitical events at home prevented a HNW family from accessing its financial resources…and how they mitigated the impacts by way of alternative residences and careful financial planning.

Reconnecting with Family Heritage for Future Generations

In this third part, we will show how families today can reconnect with their family heritage to benefit future generations…and achieve deep personal rewards for themselves.

The US and Canada are Countries of Immigrants

We have all heard this assertion many times, so I won’t dwell on it except to reinforce the fact that every non-Indigenous North American has their roots in at least one other country…and sometimes more. Consider the waves of immigration from Ireland, Italy, Asia, Eastern Europe…and of course Western Europe since the 1800s.

When preparing Backup Plans for our clients, we often surprise them by asking questions about their family lineage going back multiple generations. We often surprise them a second time when we include an application for a lineage citizenship in our suggested strategies. Indeed, we have assisted clients for Backup Plans apply for citizenships for themselves and their children (and sometimes grandchildren) in Lithuania, Estonia, Poland, Austria, Ireland, Italy, Greece, Canada…to name but a few.

Citizenship through Lineage

Imagine, we helped a Catholic Mexican HNW father apply for Portuguese citizenship for himself and his children after genealogical research revealed that they had descended from Sephardic Jews expelled from Portugal centuries ago.  And we have helped numerous Sephardic Jewish American families to obtain Spanish or Portuguese citizenship. This is in addition to assisting many members of the Jewish diaspora to obtain Israeli citizenship under the Law of Return.

Descendants of Jews who left  Europe in the 1930s

Some of the most fascinating and satisfying work we do is assisting descendants of Jewish ancestors who were able to leave Europe in the 1930’s. We have many American clients whose parents and/or grandparents fled 1930’s Europe with nothing but a suitcase…and went on to build successful lives for themselves and subsequent generations. 

Several countries that fell under Nazi control now have programs whereby the descendants of Nazi victims – including those who left – can claim citizenship. These programs are well run and very respectful of the applicants who themselves appreciate the opportunity to reconnect with their family’s history on the one hand and offer a significant benefit to their children on the other.

As their ancestors usually left quickly, building a credible file of documents for these applicants can be a challenge. But with the help of expert genealogists we are often able to assemble the requisite support documents…and frequently fill in gaps in the lost family histories and provide rich details of events and actions surrounding their ancestors departure.

But that is only half the story. What is also noteworthy is that many of these descendant clients are very aware of the political and social circumstances that resulted in their ancestors fleeing Europe. Sadly…but not surprisingly…many see similar warning signs in America today. So they are heeding their ancestors entreaty…the pessimists left and lived while the optimists stayed and suffered or even died.

Expanding Opportunities through Citizenship

Accordingly, in addition to providing insurance against adverse possible events, the  acquisition of citizenship in an EU member state also provides our clients and their future generations with the opportunity to retire, work, or go to school abroad. It is important to remember that as a result of EU law, these benefits are not limited to the country of their ancestors, but apply to all 27 members of the EU and EEC.

Lessons from History: Why a Backup Plan Matters More Than Ever

So if you are unclear of your family’s lineage…or are aware and pessimistic that history might repeat itself in some problematic form, then you may want to consider looking into lineage citizenship as a component of your Backup Plan.

In closing, if you are concerned about:

  • Protecting your assets over multiple generations,
  • Providing education and career opportunities for children or grandchildren,
  • Ensuring security for yourself and your family…to protect against economic, political, social and climate uncertainties,
  • Reconnecting with your family lineage,
  • Enhancing your lifestyle,

….and yes, possibly looking at your current tax structures,

…then please contact us directly or have one of your trusted advisors do so to discuss how a Backup Plan might work for you.

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