The $60'000 cap for US investments

Yes, the more US situs assets you have, the higher the limit will be. Don’t forget to also count any real estate, pension, 3a, non-US situs shares and etc. assets. If only 30% of your assets are US ones, then the tax free limit would roughly be at 3.3 million. If the sunset kicks in, roughly 1.56 million. If you invest today 150k and never add a penny, then you would roughly be at that 1.56 million limit after 30 years (assuming historical 8% stock market returns; 30 years since it’s running past normal retiring age). 40% of potential returns - and principal - above that to Uncle Sam is a risk.

In your example, an estate of 22 million would pay 2.2 million to Uncle Sam which probably is still a bit of a downer.

Ok, 1 million VT. You won’t find tax lawyers working below CHF 300/h. I paid good ones 400/h.

Now, should the lawyer make the declaration? In this case, he will become personally responsible to IRS of its correctness. He/she will ensure that all your assets are catalogued, estimated and the estimates certified. He/she has to give out those jobs and control the work. You have to pay those experts in addition to the lawyer. Do you have real estate, art, a car in value over 10k, a horse etc? Moreover, the declaration itself and all communications with IRS, even reading simple letters. Everything at 400/h. During this time, your loved ones cannot access the money at the broker.
Or do you just want to have the advice of the lawyer and let your grieving family do the additional work? It will still cost you.
If you set in an executor, then the executor will hire the tax lawyer - another layer of cost. You will pay the letters they send to each other twice (drafting/reading etc).

All of the above is just for the normal US-declaration. Their system is different. In CH you just have to name everything and the state applies the law and calculates the tax. In the US, land of self-responsability, you are responsible for correctly applying the law and calculating your taxes. IRS is basically here to check you. They demand proof for valuations in such cases as ours discussed here.

In all cases, your loved ones ROI is severly impacted and they have more work. Also, they can’t finish the repartition of your estate until IRS gives green light. This will happen in due time and certainly not overnight.

Will all of these risk materialize? I hope and think not. I write them down so that YOU can make the call for yourselves about investing in US situs assets informed and clear-eyed.

I personally chose to do it. The profitability is much better. Vanguard US works as a collective, with the fund-share-owners as principals. This sets the incentives correctly. Vanguard non-US is differently structured. As to the risk, I think it raises with age while I hope that European TERs should hopefully come down. Everybody has to make his or her own call.