A Will For Canadian Property and Foreign Property

Whenever I have clients that have Canadian property and assets in a foreign jurisdiction, I always recommend that they consult with a lawyer in the jurisdiction where they hold those foreign assets (Mexico for example – and sometimes multiple foreign jurisdictions). If a client has a Will in another jurisdiction, or jurisdictions, to govern their foreign assets, then their Will here becomes their Canadian Will and we typically use clauses such as the following:

“This Will (sometimes called my “Canadian Will”) deals only with all of my property of every kind situated in Canada at my death (both moveable and immovable), including but not limited to, any interests in land(s), and all of my bank accounts, investments, Registered Retirement Savings Plans and / or Registered Retirement Income Funds (where the designated beneficiary is my Estate), held with any and all institutions located in Canada (my “Canadian Property”).  I may have also prepared other Wills that deal with my property of every kind situated in jurisdictions other than Canada (my “Foreign Property”), to be applicable as at the date of my death (sometimes called my “Foreign Will(s)”).  In this regard, it is my express wish that my Canadian Will govern the distribution of my Canadian Property, and that my Foreign Will(s) govern the distribution of my Foreign Property, as may be applicable.  In the absence of any Foreign Will(s), it is my further wish that the provisions of my Canadian Will shall apply as to the distribution of my Foreign Property to the extent this may be possible.”

If you have assets in multiple jurisdictions then your Estate Planning immediately becomes more complicated and it will be very important to consult appropriate lawyers who are qualified in each jurisdiction where you hold your assets, and have them work together to liaise on your Estate Plan.

This is provided as information ONLY; it should NOT be construed as legal advice. You should consult with a lawyer to provide you with specific advice for your own situation. For more information real estate matters or estate planning, and to discuss your specific circumstances, please contact Vanessa DeDominicis on 250-869-1140 or [email protected] Vanessa practices in the area of Real Estate and Wills & Estates at Pushor Mitchell LLP in Kelowna.

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