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Handling Foreign-Based Estate Assets

Sep 15, 2017 10:00:00 AM The MacMillan Estate Planning Team Estate Planning


There are so many things to love about Canada, but that doesn’t mean you want to be here all the time. The US, England, Europe, and other nations offer wonderful new cultures, investment opportunities, and more. The world is becoming more globalized, and each year greater numbers of Canadians are living and working in other countries. Some are even marrying while they’re away. As Canadians begin to spend more time abroad, it has become common for estates to include foreign assets. So how should you proceed when buying internationally based assets, and how should you address the complicated estate administration issues in your estate plan?

Choose the Property You Actually Want. The first thing to remember is that you need to buy a property you actually want. The personalized estate plans employed by ultra high-net-worth families are rarely without challenges, and we don’t want you to feel overwhelmed by international estate regulations or to artificially restrict yourself from getting what you want just to avoid a complicated estate. Instead, make your decision based on the characteristics that will decide how much you enjoy the property. How close to the beach do you want to be? If you want an investment property, what sort of revenue can you expect? How much can you afford? These are the types of questions that should decide which property you buy.

Work With Your Estate Experts. Once you’ve made your decision, it’s time to start working with your estate specialists. This is necessary because how you proceed with your purchase is going to depend a lot on your specific intentions and priorities. Regulations change in different jurisdictions, and whether you’re investing internationally or here in Canada, you’ll need personalized advice to mitigate taxes and handle the foreign aspects of your estate from professionals who are familiar with you, your current circumstance, and your future goals. The CRA is also cracking down on estates with international assets, so it’s integral to work with professionals who can protect you and your property from excessive taxation, help you understand changes to exemption rates, and lead you through the challenges of creating an estate plan that covers assets at home and internationally.

Even if an internationally held property is simply for your enjoyment, it’s still an investment that you need to protect and may wish to pass on to the next generation. A personalized estate plan utilizes tools like trusts and co-ownership to make these transitions smoother. Before making any big changes to your estate, it’s always a good idea to sit down with your estate team and listen to their advice. Call MacMillan Estate Planning today at (403) 266-6464 to begin with your free consultation.

At MacMillan Estate Planning, our team of professional trust and estate practitioners, chartered accountants, financial planners, and legal professionals look forward to assisting you with the design of your estate plan and will ensure you build, protect, and enjoy your wealth. The information provided is general and may not be suited to your objectives or sufficient to ensure the protection of you and your family. You should not act on this information without providing MacMillan Estate Planning with the opportunity to ensure that it is suitable for your unique situation.

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