Cross-Border Blog

What property is subject to U.S. estate tax?

U.S. Persons (U.S. citizens and those whose domicile is the U.S.) are taxed on the value of their worldwide assets at death.


Non-U.S. Persons (Canadians and others whose domicile is NOT the U.S.) are taxed only on the value of their U.S. “situs” assets. U.S. situs assets generally include U.S. real property, tangible personal property located in the U.S., business assets located in the U.S., and stock of U.S. corporations regardless of where they are held. Real property can include a boat slip. Tangible personal property can include boats, golf club memberships, art work & automobiles.


  • What if my spouse and I own U.S. property as joint tenants?
  • Will my executor have to probate my estate in the U.S.?
  • Are there ways for my estate avoid probate in the U.S.?
  • How does the gift tax impact Canadians?

I will answer these and other cross border questions in the new year, so please check back often and if you have a specific situation that you want addressed, please do not hesitate to contact us through our Consultation Form. You can also visit us at


About Ingenuity Counsel & Michael Kennedy

Ingenuity Counsel, based in Windsor, Ontario, Canada, provides cross border tax & United States legal services to Canadians. Michael Kennedy, with close to 20 years of legal experience, and his team at Ingenuity Counsel, advise Canadians who own property in the United States, particularly Michigan, California & Florida, with respect to federal income & estate tax, estate planning & probate administration.

Mr. Kennedy is an attorney-at-law admitted in the States of California, Michigan & Florida. He is also authorized as a Foreign Legal Consultant by the Law Society of Ontario to provide legal services in Ontario respecting the laws of the United States. Mr. Kennedy provides legal advice only as it pertains to U.S. laws. Prior to establishing Ingenuity Counsel in 2012, he practiced law in the United States for more than 10 years in California, Michigan and Florida. Michael has a U.S. law degree (JD) from Western New England University School of Law and his Master of Laws degree (LLM) from Georgetown University Law Center in Washington DC.

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