Getting married? Get a will.

Last week, I wrote about the dangers of being common law without a will. This week, it’s about being married – specifically, what to do once you’re getting married to prepare yourself financially. Here are some tips:

  1. Think seriously about getting a cohabitation agreement (prenup), especially if one of you is coming into the marriage with some assets.
  2. Update your estate plan. This includes getting wills and powers of attorney naming your new spouse (or not, as the case may me) so that what you want to actually happen, will. Keep in mind that getting married automatically revokes any will you had before – which is important if this is not your first marriage – but it does not revoke your powers of attorney.
  3. Update your beneficiary designations. If you biggest asset is your RRSP, and it still has your parents or siblings as beneficiaries, your new spouse will suffer financially. It’s an easy thing to update.

Getting engaged is an exciting event, but you need to take some steps to make sure that you and your soon-to-be spouse are protected financially.