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Cross Border U.S.-Canadian Tax and Estate Planning

Reconciling U.S. and Canadian Law on Trusts, Deemed Dispositions on Death, Situs Wills, and Wealth Transfers

Recording of a 90-minute CLE/CPE video webinar with Q&A

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford CPE+ Pass. Click for more information.
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Conducted on Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE/CPE course will provide estate planners with a comprehensive guide to estate planning tax challenges and opportunities for clients who have tax considerations in both the United States and Canada. The panel will discuss the U.S. tax law and treaty provisions that govern tax in Canada and the United States.


The long Canada-U.S. border and extensive ties between the two countries provide a significant amount of economic migration for residents of both countries. Many U.S. citizens and permanent residents have property interests in Canada and vice-versa in the case of residents of Canada for tax purposes with property interests in the U.S. Estate planning counsel and advisers must identify the tax and wealth transfer planning rules and opportunities specific to U.S. citizens and Canadian residents with assets, presence and family members in both countries.

The differences between U.S. and Canadian estate and wealth transfer rules present several challenges. Canada does not impose an estate tax. However, Canadian law provides for a "deemed disposition" of all capital assets on the death of a taxpayer, thus triggering a tax on all unrecognized gains and losses.

While the U.S.-Canada tax treaty allows for reciprocal credits for U.S. federal estate tax and Canadian taxes, estate planners must reconcile the differences between the two countries' tax regimes and proactively minimize the tax impact of wealth transfers. Tax advisers must thoroughly grasp treaty provisions, identify whether a client needs separate estate documents specific to each country, and recognize the U.S. and foreign income and estate/gift tax implications of transactions.

Listen as our expert panel advises how to plan clients' estates with U.S. and Canadian tax presence, including interests in business entities, real estate, and financial accounts. The panel will cover the legal and tax considerations when planning for the disposition of each type of asset.



  1. U.S. estate tax regime
  2. Canadian "deemed disposition" rules
  3. Tax treaty credit provisions
  4. U.S. and Canadian tax treatment of trusts
  5. Filing and reporting deadlines and timelines to consider


The panel will review these and other essential issues:

  • When is it appropriate for clients to have separate estate plan documents specific to the U.S. and Canada?
  • How does the "deemed disposition" rule work to create a recognition event upon death in Canada?
  • What tax treaty provisions minimize dual taxation issues in estates and post-mortem tax events?
  • How to avoid inadvertent gift tax triggering events on spousal transfers
  • Options for transferring estate assets outside of an estate in Canada


Gagné, Héléna
Héléna Gagné

Osler Hoskin & Harcourt

Ms. Gagné is a Partner in the Tax Group of our Montréal office. Her practice primarily focuses on tax,...  |  Read More

Liguo (Cooper) Xu, EA, CPA, CPA (AU), MST


Mr. Xu is a Partner with Andersen LLP based in our Calgary office. He is a CPA tax professional providing cross-border...  |  Read More

Access Anytime, Anywhere

Strafford will process CLE credit for one person on each recording. CPE credit is not available on recordings. All formats include course handouts.

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