This is a very complicated topic but one that needs consideration if you intend to bequeath money to anyone overseas or in the USA. You also need to plan your estate knowing that possibly a family member may one day relocate to another county or the USA.

It is very challenging to navigate the system of international estate and tax laws. There are law firms that specialize in cross-border tax and estate-planning assistance and are aware that each country has its own set of tax and compliance obligations. Apparently it’s not as difficult as it seems but does require a pro-active approach, think globally and act locally.

You need to consider the Canadian tax consequences and administration of those assets, as well as the foreign. Seek the right help before developing an estate and tax planning strategy. Some countries don’t have inheritance, gift or estate taxes, while others – notably the United States – maintain tax treaties with Canada designed to prevent double taxation.

The general concept is, if the tax has been paid in one country already, then tax should not be paid in the other country on that same source of income.

General advice: If you have family members in the EU, before you write someone into your will, find out what the implications are. For more detailed info, refer to the article below.

Colleen Saunders is a 25 year veteran in the mortgage industry serving Oakville, Burlington, Mississauga and Toronto and offering all mortgage related services such as 1st & 2nd mortgages, private mortgages and more.

To contact Colleen, please fill out the form on or call 416-459-2406