Cross-Border Will and Estate Planning: United States and Canada

Does your estate plan have a U.S. connection? Cross-border estate planning requires the skill and knowledge of a qualified lawyer with experience in resolving these complex issues.

At the Toronto, Ontario, law firm of O'Sullivan Estate Lawyers LLP, we provide tailored solutions to clients who have a U.S. affiliation and cross-border estate planning issues working with U.S. estate planning advisors. Our firm has decades of experience providing estate planning guidance and advice to families in Canada and the United States.

Why Cross-Border Estates Need Skilled Planning

Estate planning can become complicated by the different tax, estate planning and estate administration laws and rules between Canada and the U.S.

If an individual and his or her family have ties across the border, either through residency, citizenship, domicile or the location of an asset, it is important to obtain legal advice from experienced lawyers who can assist in identifying critical issues and preparing a coordinated and effective cross-border estate plan.

Individually Customized Cross-Border Estate Planning Solutions

The team at O'Sullivan Estate Lawyers LLP is equipped with the experience and legal understanding to comprehensively review your situation and, in conjunction with U.S. tax and legal professionals, provide estate planning solutions that will minimize tax as well as exposure to adverse cross-border issues.

We work with families and individuals from a broad range of backgrounds and circumstances, creating customized plans to meet the unique needs of each client. We provide an array of cross-border estate planning services, including:

  • Cross-border incapacity planning including use of a power of attorney in U.S. jurisdictions
  • Cross-border will planning and separate situs wills
  • Cross-border trust planning including Canadian trusts to hold U.S. situs asset

Our firm is known in the professional community for its ability to create and effectively deliver legal solutions for succession of assets and estate and incapacity planning for clients with connections to both Canada and the U.S.

Navigating Tax Implications in Cross-Border Estate Planning

As an internationally-recognized firm that frequently deals with clients with multijurisdictional issues, our legal team can provide you with advice regarding your cross-border estate planning needs. For instance, all or part of your estate may be or become subject to U.S. estate tax if:

  • You, your children, your spouse or one of your beneficiaries is domiciled in the U.S.
  • You own real estate or personal property located in the U.S. or other U.S. situs property, including shares of U.S. corporations.
  • You are a U.S. citizen residing in Canada.

There is a special tax treaty between Canada and the U.S. that provides various types of relief from double taxation on death. We can help you understand how U.S. estate tax could affect your estate planning and how to minimize taxation in both jurisdictions through careful specialized estate planning. For instance, a special trust to benefit your family members may in certain cases minimize U.S. estate tax and protect your wealth.

If you are a U.S. citizen living in Ontario or a Canadian with U.S. connections, including owning property in the U.S., our estate planning lawyers will work with you to develop an appropriate estate plan to coordinate and integrate U.S.-Canada taxation.

Seek Professional Guidance for Your Cross-Border Estate Plan

If you own assets in both Canada and the United States, or you or your family members have connections to both countries, either by citizenship, residence or domicile, and you are seeking to create an estate plan that optimizes your situation, please call our Toronto, Ontario law office.