Tag: International Inheritance
About six months ago I blogged on aspects of wire transfers of money to beneficiaries in foreign jurisdictions. These transfers require some attention to issues like the applicability of the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) or of Section 116 of the Income Tax Act to any portion of the inheritance and trustee or professional fees. As well, requirements for the SWIFT code or IBAN code number have to be fulfilled. This blog is an update to advise that in my experience there has been a noticeable change in the last couple of months involving bank wire transfers.
Banks have significantly increased their compliance, monitoring, and oversight practices. Transfers that were routinely completed in a couple of days in the past can now, in some cases, take weeks to complete. Clearly, additional procedures aimed at preventing money laundering and also designed to enforce sanctions against Russian and other entities are having an effect. These procedures have resulted in inconvenience and delay to those involved and it is best to be aware of the possibility of these delays and how they might impact one’s practice.
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In 2016, there were an estimated 1,359,655 persons of Ukrainian origin residing in Canada, making them one of Canada’s largest ethnic groups. Because this is a community that is now overwhelmingly born in Canada only a small percentage have knowledge of the Ukrainian language. However, many have cultural, family, and other ties to the country of origin of their grandparents. There are many aspects of international inheritance and estates that involve assets and beneficiaries in both countries as a result of these historic ties.
Ukraine is a European continental law country, with a population of 44 million, in which notaries deal with estates or “successions”. The “Certificate of Right to Inheritance” is the Ukrainian equivalent of the “Letters of Administration” or “Letters Probate” or a “Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee” which are used in Canada.
It should be noted that under Ukrainian legal procedures, the right to assets of a decedent is based upon the terms of a will, if any, or in accordance with the Ukrainian law on intestate succession. For example, if a wife dies leaving a husband and two living sons but left no will, her estate would be transferred to her heirs, namely her sons and husband pursuant to the Civil Code of Ukraine, in equal shares. In the case where one of the sons subsequently dies leaving three children, then the son’s share would be transferred to his beneficiaries, namely his wife and three children.
Also interesting, according to the Civil Code of Ukraine, a beneficiary (testamentary or legal heir) has the right to renounce their share in the Deceased’s estate in favor of another beneficiary. So, in order to minimize legal formalities and respectively notarial costs and expenses, beneficiaries can renounce their shares in an estate in favor of another beneficiary by completing a document in front of a notary.
If you are interested in further information on the topic of international inheritance we are pleased to assist, along with our lawyer colleagues in Ukraine.
Thanks for reading,