Tying the knot

Signing wedding register

Signing wedding registerI got married at the end of October last year. Among other things, signing that piece of paper meant that my husband and I no longer had wills; the ones we had signed about a year before that were automatically revoked the moment we were married.

This is a point that I can’t stress enough. In Ontario, marriage automatically revokes a will. For me and my husband, this isn’t such a big deal; we don’t have children, and our assets are not currently very complicated. We have updated our wills because administration of an estate is always easier with a valid will in place, but it was not as urgent as it could have been.

Where you run into difficulty is if you fall anywhere outside of the standard box. What if this is your second marriage, and you wanted to leave the bulk of your estate to your children from your first marriage? What if you have some children from a prior relationship and a child with your new spouse? What if you have children you are estranged from? What if you have very particular views about guardianship of your children, and your spouse is not their parent and would have no right to take care of them?

If you married since you did your will, or you are married and never did a will, you should investigate what the consequences are. It’s always better to know.

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