Cross-Border and Multijurisdictional Estate Administration

Administering an estate with foreign connections may present additional challenges and complexities – as well as possible longer timelines. The experienced legal professionals at O'Sullivan Estate Lawyers LLP can assist you in navigating the process. Our firm works collaboratively with well-qualified advisors in the local jurisdiction(s) to prepare and implement a coordinated, efficient approach.

Our lawyers provide estate administration services and advice regarding estates with cross-border and multijurisdictional aspects and connections, including Ontario estates with:

  • Estate representatives (e.g., executors) located in other jurisdictions and administering assets in Ontario
  • Assets located in different jurisdictions
  • Beneficiaries located in different jurisdictions

For more information about how O'Sullivan Estate Lawyers LLP can assist with the administration of an estate with international connections, please contact our Toronto, Ontario, law office today.

Foreign Estate Representatives Administering Ontario Assets

Our legal team has expertise handling court applications involving foreign executors or administrators of estates with assets located in Ontario. These services include applications for resealing orders, ancillary appointments and appointments of nominees of foreign estate trustees as estate trustees without a will.

We work with legal advisors, estate representatives and family members of a deceased person who resided outside Ontario to conduct a thorough search for all estate assets in Ontario and create a detailed inventory. Our firm will also provide guidance regarding valuing Ontario-based assets and help create a plan for administering the Ontario assets in the most efficient manner possible.

Our firm assists with the preparation and filing of the appropriate court application, if necessary, and obtaining the issued court certificate. We work collaboratively with the estate representative and foreign legal counsel to administer the Ontario assets, as well as with domestic and cross-border tax advisors in order to deal with applicable tax compliance matters.

Ontario-Based Estates With International Assets

You may find yourself named in the will of a deceased family member or friend as the executor of an estate with both Ontario and foreign assets. Our legal professionals are experienced in administering estates with international assets, including aiding you in identifying special issues relating to these estates.

We partner with professional advisors in the applicable foreign jurisdictions, and our lawyers can assist you with preparing a coordinated and comprehensive estate administration action plan. We help identify and address critical issues that may impact the estate administration, including:

  • Whether probate or a similar court or legal process (such as resealing probate issued by the Ontario Court) will be required in the foreign jurisdiction(s) where the deceased held assets in order to manage and administer the assets
  • The best place to first obtain probate, if applicable
  • The requirement to post a monetary bond with the court, and whether it can be avoided or the value minimized in certain situations
  • Conflict of laws issues, including which law governs the administration of a particular foreign asset
  • The application of the European Succession Regulation, if any
  • Local laws that may affect the terms of a will or an intestate estate, such as forced heirship or community of property laws
  • The tax and reporting requirements in the foreign jurisdiction(s) and how they impact the estate's administration in Ontario
  • Consideration of creditor claims in the foreign jurisdiction(s) and their impact on the overall administration of the estate
  • The appointment of agents under power of attorney in the foreign jurisdiction(s) to carry out certain actions on the estate representative's behalf.

Ontario-Based Estates With Foreign Beneficiaries

Our legal professionals can provide guidance and advice in administering an Ontario estate where distributions will be made to beneficiaries who do not reside in Canada. Factors considered include:

  • Tax matters related to the distribution, including capital gains tax, withholding tax and s. 116 compliance certificates under the Income Tax Act (Canada)
  • The implications of foreign beneficiaries holding interests in Canadian or Ontario corporations
  • Obtaining appropriate receipts and releases from beneficiaries
  • Arranging for distributions, including foreign currency and exchange rate issues.