Life’s journey often ends up very far from where it began. People move, travel, immigrate, emigrate, all while acquiring assets in foreign jurisdictions. What many fail to realize is that even with a legal Will in place in your home jurisdiction, assets held in foreign jurisdictions may be subject to foreign laws that may supersede the locally drafted Will.
If you hold assets in foreign countries or jurisdictions, talk to a lawyer you trust and ensure that your assets are properly protected. Your Legal Sherpa® from Yeti Law can help.
Toronto Lawyer Protecting Your Foreign Assets
Either through travel and acquisition, or through inheritance, you may find yourself with real estate or a second home located in another country. You may also find that you have accumulated or inherited foreign bank accounts, or other financial assets. If you have, you must be prepared for the realities of dealing with these types of assets located in foreign jurisdictions.
Foreign laws may treat inheritance laws very differently than they might otherwise be treated in Ontario. Even seemingly subtle differences can have significant impact on how the Will may be treated. Some jurisdictions may have very specific legal language surrounding what assets can be distributed from the estate and to whom. There are some European Union regulations that preclude assets from being willed outside of a family. It’s helpful to have someone familiar with those foreign policies. Your estate lawyer at Yeti Law can help you navigate through this complex area with ease.
Foreign tax and reporting requirements may also be assessed very differently in foreign jurisdictions, and must be accounted for appropriately. Additionally, the existence of foreign creditors may affect the administration of the Will, and may need to be handled differently as per the laws of that jurisdiction.
Administering an estate containing foreign assets can prove more complex and more time consuming than it otherwise would if foreign assets weren’t a concern. A careful strategy designed with the help of an experienced lawyer, like your Legal Sherpa®, can help to simplify the process. One of the best ways to protect assets in foreign jurisdictions is through the creation of multiple Wills. A multi-jurisdictional approach allows for those foreign assets to be more easily managed.
Through a coordinated approach, legal work in one jurisdiction can be done independently in different jurisdictions. This can significantly lower costs, as it reduces travel between jurisdictions to perform administrative tasks. It also leverages the legal, accounting, and taxation expertise of qualified local representatives. Your Legal Sherpa® has the experience with multi-jurisdiction Wills to ensure that your best interests are protected, and can draft a solution that fits your specific needs.