Canada-U.S. Tax Treaty Article XXIX B Taxes Imposed by Reason of Death
A U.S. federal estate tax return must be filed if a deceased Canadian resident who is not an American citizen owned U.S.-situated assets exceeding $60,000 US in fair market value at the time of death. A US estate tax return may also be required if the deceased made substantial lifetime gifts of U.S. property, even if the U.S. assets do not exceed $60,000 at the time of death. If your total worldwide estate in 2017 is less than $5.49 million US at the time of death, you will probably not have to pay any US estate tax. If the estate is passing to a spouse, a marital credit may also be available to reduce the tax payable.
The total worldwide estate includes:
U.S. stocks are not always subject to U.S. estate tax: Canada - U.S. Tax Treaty
Canadians are protected by Article XXIX B (8) of the Canada - U.S. Tax Treaty which provides that:
If, at the time of death, the entire worldwide estate of a Canadian resident (other than a U.S. citizen) does not exceed $1.2 million US, the U.S. will only impose estate tax on property for which, on disposal by the owner, any gain would have been subject to income taxation by the U.S. This includes: