Garton & Harris

The importance of revisiting wills when you remarry

When marriages end, chances are that one or both parties will move on to other partners. Statistically, two-thirds of divorcees between 55 and 64 told Pew Research they had remarried in a 2013 study. British Columbia individuals giving marriage another shot have several financial considerations to keep in mind, especially those who have accumulated wealth in between their marriages. One of the main things to consider is the details within wills.

Prior to a new marriage, it is helpful for each party to take a fully inventory of assets. Many might think this documentation only matters for couples who eventually split, but there are other reasons it is important. Documenting assets is a critical part of estate planning, and can help individuals clarify if certain items should be left to family members besides the new spouse. For example, an heirloom may be best suited to a child; this will need to be explicitly stated in a will or a spouse may get everything by default.

Often, couples with children from previous marriages prefer to keep certain assets separate from their spouse. This helps to protect wealth for their next of kin. It also makes sure that obligations from the previous marriage, such as spousal or child support can be met in the case of an untimely death.

Blended families have many things to discuss in terms of wills. Should stepchildren be included in the legacy plan? What about ex-spouses with whom there are still family ties or financial dependencies? Discussing these issues early and often, and putting them in wills with the help of an British Columbia lawyer, can help maintain financial well-being in a remarriage.

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