Tax Efficient Estate Planning through Wills

Apart from any other estate planning measures one might choose to implement, there is always a role for a well-planned will. However, the content of those wills depends on whether one or both spouses are US citizens.

Mixed Marriage – One Spouse is a US Citizen

In the case of a mixed marriage, the wills of each spouse will be very different. The reason for this is that different strategies and tools will be employed based on the rules that apply to a given estate.

To illustrate this scenario, take the example of Harry and Wanda. Harry is a US citizen by birth who came to Canada as a child. He married Wanda, a Canadian citizen, and they had three children who did not inherit Harry’s US citizenship. Their combined estate is $10 million, virtually all of which is held in joint names. Read the rest of this entry »

Expatriation: What it means to be a “covered expatriate”

Expatriation has become somewhat of a hot topic in recent years with the increased filing requirements that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) imposes on their citizens living outside of the United States. Whether you lived in the U.S. for half of your life or you simply had the pleasure of being born on the other side of the border, Canadians who also hold U.S. citizenship have increasingly been looking for a way to renounce their American citizenship. Read the rest of this entry »

IRS To Recognize All Legal Same-Sex Marriages for US Federal Tax Purposes

On August 29, 2013, the US Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) and the US Department of Treasury released announcements confirming that in light of the historic US v. Windsor ruling from June 26, 2013, the IRS will recognize all legal same-sex marriages performed in one of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, a US territory, or a foreign nation. Read the rest of this entry »