Thinking about appointing an Executor who lives outside Canada?

An important decision when making your Will is deciding who will administer your assets when you die. It is important that this person is someone you trust, but this creates complications if your loved ones are outside Canada.

If you appoint a non-resident executor, will it create problems? The short answer is, yes.

Some of the issues with non-resident executors are:

Practical Challenges:

Many of an executor’s duties are difficult or impossible to carry out remotely, such as gathering the assets, inventorying them, taking steps to safeguard them, and ultimately distributing them. A Non-resident Executor will almost always have to travel to Ontario to look after such duties. 

Bond Requirement:

A non-resident executor is required to post an administration bond. Obtaining such a bond is daunting in terms of the time and expense required. In some cases, it is possible to bring a motion to ask the court to dispense with the bond requirement, but this will add expense to the probate application process.

Tax implications:

An estate may be deemed to be a non-resident for tax purposes merely because a foreign executor is administering it. This can create many tax problems with Canada Revenue and may even mean that the estate could be subject to foreign taxation.

Having a non-resident executor creates practical, administrative and tax complications for your estate. In most cases, the best strategy is to appoint a Canadian resident executor in your Will. If you have no trusted individual in Canada, consider appointing a professional trust company.

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