Cross-border estate and gift planning

Cross-border estate and gift planning

Many Canadian legal and accounting firms have some level of expertise associated with domestic estate planning and the use of family trusts to reduce Canadian income tax burdens. However, these plans rarely consider the U.S. and cross-border tax consequences where a U.S. person is involved with the plan. Where such considerations are absent, the unintended results can be disastrous.

Cross-border implications for estate planning

Canada and the U.S. share many tax principles but tax practitioners often make the mistake of assuming that an estate strategy that works for Canadian tax purposes will be equally effective for U.S. tax purposes. For example, an estate freeze which is a common estate planning strategy in Canada can have many surprising results where it involves U.S. persons.

At Andersen, our team of cross-border tax advisors is well versed on the implications for U.S. persons with interests in non-U.S. trusts and for U.S. persons treated as owning non-U.S. trusts for U.S. tax purposes. Additionally, we advise clients on minimizing U.S. estate and gift tax exposure for U.S. citizens resident in Canada and non-U.S. persons with U.S. real property and other U.S.-situs property.

We also prepare U.S. federal estate and gift tax returns for both U.S. and non-U.S. persons and non-U.S. trust disclosures for U.S. persons resident in Canada.