I am a father working in Japan planning to move to the US soon. My wife is a US citizen, son is a US permanent resident studying in a US college, and I am a nonresident alien. I would like to transfer my Japanese funds to the US to purchase a home in California. What is the best way to do this? Some questions I am thinking about are:
1) Whose bank account should I transfer the money to (to my US bank account, to my wife’s, to my son’s, and/or directly to escrow)?
2) If only my wife and my son are on the title, can ownership be split 90%-10% or does it have to be 50%-50%?
Any links and/or legal terms for me to research are very welcome. Thank you for your help!
Your wife and you should consult with an estate planning attorney to configure best structure for you including the house purchase and it's vesting and manner of payment. A non resident can own property but how you wish the percentages of ownership be made is a specific fact which you should consult with an attorney with. Good luck to you.
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Your questions bring us issues that can affect income tax, capital gains tax, inheritance tax as well as creditor rights, family law and immigration.
It is best if you contact an attorney who can advise you.
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The transfer of funds needs to be done in consultation with the lender unless you are paying for cash for the home. If outright cash for the entire purchase, the funds can be transferred to escrow. If you are getting a loan, then consult with the lender.
If your son is 18, he can be on title. You can have title reflect however you desire, but please consult with an attorney to understand the ramifications of joint ownership with your wife, son and so on. Ownership can be split 10 to 90 if that's what you want, but be sure you understand how living trusts and probate works too for owning property in California. A good estate planner can advise you on this issue as well.
As we must state: any information provided in this answer is not legal advice and your use of it does not create an attorney-client relationship.
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