People have moved to Florida for many reasons during the last several decades. A friendly tax and retirement climate is one of the main reasons. And people have come from all over the world to live there. For parents who live in another country but have children living in Florida, estate planning is still important.

For parents who want to make sure they leave as much to their children as possible, being able to handle multinational tax issues is paramount. Many countries are now sharing information in order to rein in tax dodging, and the Internal Revenue Service is allowing people to voluntarily report funds that had been stashed offshore.

One of the most important pieces of information for foreign residents with children living in the United States is that U.S. property is taxable upon death, and the estate tax exemption is much lower than for U.S. citizens. For foreigners owning U.S. property, the estate tax exemption is only $60,000, while for citizens it's $5 million.

For gift taxes, one attorney said it isn't clear if the IRS considers gift of cash to be U.S. property subject to gift taxes. She recommends parents give cash to children by transferring sums between non-U.S. bank accounts.

But one financial planner said a common mistake is that visiting parents buy their children gifts, which can be subjected to steep gift tax rates of up to 35 percent for any gift worth more than $13,000.

Another common gift to U.S. children is real estate. One expert recommended that foreign parents should put the property in an offshore company, and allow family members to own shares in that company. The main piece of advice is to begin planning now, so that children are not hit with a high tax burden.

Source: Bloomberg, "Tax Hunt Pushes Global Rich to Offshore Trusts for U.S. Children," Elizabeth Ody, March 5, 2012