I wanted to post this fact situation and generate some thoughts on how this problem can be solved.
Facts – Altered slightly to protect their identities:
Financial Assets: Last week I met with a couple in their 50s. They have been married about 25 years. They have lived in Canada all of their married lives. They have two children. The older is graduating from University this year. The younger is in her third year of high school (expectation that she will go on to University). It is not clear to me what is the citizenship status of the children. But, I think (since the US born mother lived in the US until the age of 18 and then moved to Canada) that they are both US citizens. If the children are US citizens I don’t think the US has ever been notified that they exist. The couple own (free and clear) a home (in both their names) with an approximate value of 1.4 million. They paid $245,000 for the home when purchased. They each have an RRSP. The husband’s value $450,000 and the wife value $200,000. They also have a brokerage account consisting primarily of Canadian mutual funds. The account is in the husband’s name (but both parties acknowledge that the account is jointly owned). The wife claims that she had some kind of signing authority (power of attorney perhaps) over the brokerage account (not sure whether she still does in view of the husband’s reaction to Mr. FBAR). Continue reading