Globe & Mail – If your child lives in the U.S., it may be time to revise your will

June 17, 2019


We are very excited to announce that David Altro,  Matt Altro, and Zaina Kottis were asked to prepare a special for The Globe and Mail, which was published on June 17, 2019. Their article titled “If your child lives in the U.S., it may be time to revise your will” examines six essential hurdles that Canadian citizens will have to overcome when appointing American resident children as executor of their will. Including bonding requirements, instructing your investment advisor, the residence of trusts, and FBAR reporting among other examples.

To read the article you can see it in part below, or click here to view it on The Globe and Mail’s website.

If your child lives in the U.S., it may be time to revise your will

David Altro and Matt Altro and Zaina Kottis
The Globe and Mail
June 17, 2019

Michael and Kristina, Canadian citizens living in Toronto, finalized their wills and named each other as their beneficiary and executor, and their older child, Brenda, as the alternate executor and trustee upon the passing of the second spouse. The wills included 1) a special discretionary trust for 50 per cent of their estate for their younger special-needs child, Jon, to ensure that his inheritance will not disqualify him from receiving Ontario Disability Support Program benefits and 2) an outright bequest to Brenda for the other 50 per cent of their estate.

So, where does this story go wrong? Brenda has now relocated to New York. Let’s look at examples of some of the hurdles that Brenda, as a U.S. resident, may face while attempting to administer the estate of the second to die of Michael and Kristina. (All names are pseudonymous.)

Hurdle No. 1 – bonding requirement

Since Brenda is a resident of the United States, before applying for probate she will likely need to secure a foreign executor’s bond for an amount equal to up to twice the value of the estate’s assets. This type of expensive bond is put in place to protect the beneficiaries and creditors of the estate and to ensure that the foreign-resident executor administers the estate properly and honestly.

The alternative is for Brenda to petition the court for an order to dispense with the bonding requirement. This process can be time consuming, would result in additional legal fees and is not guaranteed to succeed. […]

To continue reading, please click here to view the article on The Globe and Mail’s website.
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