Jun 1, 2017
A new marriage is an exciting time in your life and includes a number of legal changes and obligations.
While establishing your will is an important thing to do, marriage may not be a time when you’re thinking about your will. However, with any major change that happens in your life, your will needs to be changed to address the new circumstances. Marriage certainly qualifies.
If you already have a will in Ontario and you get married, that will is considered terminated under the law. Your will, however, will not be affected if it was written with your pending marriage in mind. To prove this, your will must contain a statement that references your marriage and your spouse.
If this was not done, then you will need to make a new will after your marriage. Many couples consider creating a will upon marriage to address their new legal status and joint property. It is a time where you can sign off and change receivership of any important financial items and any property owned.
If this is a second marriage, it will be important to consult with your lawyer on your new will to have an expert help you understand how your assets can be distributed. You may also consider changing your Powers of Attorney for Financial and Powers of Attorney for Personal Care or Executor at this time.
In a case where a second marriage could involve a blended family, your estate plan will determine who is entitled to your assets. If you do not establish an estate plan, Ontario’s laws will determine how your estate is to be divided.
When you divorce, your will remains valid, however any paragraphs that benefit your former spouse are revoked and are considered ineffective. This includes clauses that appoint he or she as executor or trustee. In order to assign new receivership for property assets and roles for your executors etc., your will should be updated.
Note: a will does not revoke former spouse-based clauses until you are divorced. If you are separated your will stands.
If your marital status is changing and you want to talk to someone about your estate planning, contact the Niagara Estate lawyers at Chown Cairns today.