You can choose an executor outside your province, or outside Canada, but be aware that they may be required to post an estate bond, which is intended to protect beneficiaries from improper administration of the estate.
In addition, there can be tax implications for out-of-country executors, not to mention it may be inconvenient for them to travel in order to settle your estate. It’s always best to get advice from a professional before appointing an out-of-country executor.
Each province has its own rules requiring executors to post an estate bond (also known as probate bond or fiduciary bond). Estate bonds are intended to protect beneficiaries and the deceased testator from improper administration of the estate. The requirement for posting an estate bond can be waived if your will states that you want your nominated executor to serve without bond. However, waiving the bond is up to the judge’s discretion and is not guaranteed. At this time, Willful does not offer the ability to include a clause allowing your executor to serve without bond. If this is something you’d like to include in your will, you should visit a lawyer.
When is an estate bond needed?
A beneficiary or person interested in the estate can apply to the court to require the executor to provide a bond for the administration of the estate. If your executor resides outside of your province at the time of your passing, in most cases they will also have to post an estate bond called a foreign executor bond. An estate bond can be expensive and inconvenient for your executor to deal with. For this reason, we recommend choosing an executor that lives in your province, however the following provides a breakdown for each of our active provinces and their requirements for bonds on behalf of out-of-province executors:
Executors that live both in and outside of Nova Scotia are required to post a security bond in order for the court to grant probate unless:
- The executor is the sole beneficiary of the estate
- All beneficiaries agree to waiving the bond
- Or, where the executor lives outside of Nova Scotia there is a co-executor that lives in Nova Scotia.
In Manitoba, an executor that lives outside of the province is required to post a security bond to the court in order for the court to grant probate.
In Ontario, out-of-province executors are required to post a security bond unless:
- The net value of the estate does not exceed $200,000.
- The application for administration includes an affidavit stating that the deceased’s debts have been paid or listing all outstanding debts.
In Saskatchewan, there is no requirement for an executor, whether resident in province or out of province, to provide a bond. A judge can require a security bond in certain circumstances, which may include an executor who lives outside of Saskatchewan. A judge also has the ability to appoint any person they consider to be appropriate to act as the administrator of the estate when a person dies and the executor is a resident outside of Saskatchewan.
Residents of British Columbia can indeed choose an executor that lives outside of British Columbia. Executors are only required to post a bond for security when:
- A minor or mentally incapable person without a nominee to represent them is interested in the estate.
- The court, on application by a person interested in the estate, requires security.
Executors who are either creditors of the deceased or are not a resident of New Brunswick may be required to provide a bond to the court.
An executor who is not a resident of Alberta is required to provide a bond unless there is a co-executor who is a resident of Alberta. The bond must be from an insurer licensed under the Insurance Act. An executor who lives in Alberta is not required to provide a bond.
What is the cost of an estate bond?
An estate bond cost varies depending on a number of factors including the value of the estate the executor is administering and the personal credit score of the executor. It’s important to note that the total bond amount is not the amount the executor has to pay. For most bonds, the bond premium typically ranges between 1-10% of the total bond amount. After posting the bond, as long as the executor doesn’t perform any damaging actions to the estate, the bond’s principal is returned once the estate is closed. An executor can purchase a bond from an insurance or surety company, where they would have to pay an annual premium on it.