Predatory marriages

Heart chain

Heart chainIn our aging society, we have discovered a new low: people who marry elderly people in order to get at their inheritances. They prey on those who have assets and are widowed, as they are the most vulnerable, being used to being married. Because of Ontario’s inheritance laws, if you marry, you revoke any will automatically, and your spouse becomes the primary beneficiary of your estate. Thus, convincing an elderly person to marry you means you automatically get something. It is especially troubling as the capacity to marry is far lower than the capacity to write a will, so these marriages can throw estate planning into utter chaos.

I’m not really sure what the solution is. On one hand, it’s beneficial to have wills revoked on marriage to allow for protection of legitimate spouses in cases where the asset-rich spouse simply forgot to update their will. On the other hand, our population is aging and has more wealth than ever, making them targets. Hopefully our government will come up with a solution to close this loophole.

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