Liquidation of an estate is a complex process. It’s even more so when it concerns an international estate.
With the mobility of workers, immigration and expatriation, estates are becoming increasingly international between Quebec and the main countries of origin of immigrants (China, France, Syria, Iran, Algeria, Haiti, Morocco, India) and also the United States, Hungary, Italy, Belgium, Poland, Germany, etc.
Mtre Mona Salehi and her team at Mona Salehi Notaire Inc., have the training and expertise to support you in the liquidation of an international estate.
Definition of an international estate
An international estate is when an estate has foreign elements (having links with other states).
An estate is called international when:
- the heirs are foreigners or
- the deceased dies in a country or province other than that of his nationality or residence, or
- the deceased owned property in a country or province other than that of his nationality or residence. We then talk in legal terms of an element of foreignness.
Estate with or without a will
Whether international or national, an estate will not be liquidated in the same way depending on whether there is or is not a will. Each state has its own inheritance rules, and inheritance law is not globally harmonized. Some countries, such as France, have hereditary reserves, which means that certain heirs are reserved a portion of the estate by law.
The place where an estate is opened
The place where an estate is opened depends on factors that connect the person and property. There are of course special cases and cases for which several states could have jurisdiction (multiple jurisdictions).
International tax treaties
The objective of international tax treaties is to avoid a person having to pay tax in two different countries for the same income. Canada has signed treaties with more than 100 foreign countries. These treaties have an impact on estate planning that could be done by your notary when writing your notarized will.
How an international estate works legally
From a legal standpoint, it will first be necessary to check whether Quebec has jurisdiction for the estate liquidation rules, which depend on the domicile, the location of the property and the last will and testament of the deceased. This is done with the help of sections 613, 3098 and 3153 of the Civil Code of Quebec.
How an international estate works for taxes
From a tax point of view, how an international estate works will depend on the presence or absence of a tax treaty between the country of the place of death of the deceased and the country or countries where the property or heirs are located.