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Porter Ramsay Blog

Wills and estates: The problem with an executor living abroad

On Behalf of | Oct 23, 2018 | Wills And Estates |

Having an up-to-date comprehensive estate plan is always prudent. When it comes to wills and estates in British Columbia, having the right executor also means a great deal. But, what if that person isn’t living in the same province or even the same country? This may cause some problems.

If an executor of a Canadian estate is living in the United States, he or she may have trouble getting access to a Canadian bank account. There may be issues regarding taxes in each country as well as the need for the executor to file federal and state tax returns in the States. Getting advice about these possible situations can be tricky to find. 

An executor who is not living in Canada can always bow out of the position by signing forms that renounce his or her designation as executor. If the individual is still up to the challenge, he or she has the same rights as an executor living abroad to make estate decisions. In any event, a testator may wish to provide the name of a backup executor in case this should happen.

In Canada, non-resident executor bonds exist in many areas. In order to act as an estate trustee or executor the law often requires nonresidents to post a security deposit. A British Columbia lawyer would be able to explain how these bonds work in terms of wills and estates laws. Just to note, too, that it is not the executor’s citizenship that is in question in these cases, but rather his or her place of residency.