Probate is the legal process by which property is transferred upon death. Generally, probate assets are those assets in the decedent’s sole name at death or otherwise owned solely by the decedent and which contain no provision for automatic succession of ownership at death. Even if your estate is probated in Canada, your executor will have to commence probate proceedings in the U.S. to deal with U.S. property. Probate for non-residents occurs in the courts of the state in which the property is located. For example, if you own property in Grand Haven, Michigan, your executor will have to commence probate proceedings in the Probate Court for Ottawa County.

We can handle your probate matters in many states either directly or through associated local counsel. In any event, you will have a local Canadian contact for your probate matter in the U.S. that understands the cross border implications.  

Whether probate is required or not, your executor or personal representative will need to clear title to your United States real property.  That is the case even if you owned it jointly with your spouse.  Upon the death of an owner of U.S. property, there is automatically an unrecorded IRS tax lien placed on the property.  You must clear that up prior to selling the property.  It is best to do that as promptly as possible.  If you wait too long, it becomes difficult and expensive.  Usually your estate will require an IRS Tax Certificate.  We can handle clearing title to your U.S. property.        

Our services include:

  • Probate Administration of U.S. Property
  • Obtain IRS Tax Certificate
  • Preparation of U.S. Estate Tax Return – Forms 706 or 706-NA
  • Advise Estate Beneficiaries on U.S. Estate and Income Tax Matters
  • Trust Administration
  • Disbursement of U.S Property and Assets
  • Clearing Title
  • Consultations with respect to the Administration of Cross Border Estates

Transferring foreign assets in probate proceedings frequently results in delays for your heirs, a headache for your estate executor and significant cost to your estate. Luckily, Michael and his team can guide you through the maze of cross-border probate to alleviate the burden on your executor.

Call him today at 519-252-3888 or reach him by email at