How Does Separation or Divorce Affect a Will?

Divorce Affecting a Will: What Ontarians Need to Know

Many people in Ontario choose to draft a will once they get married or have children, but have you ever considered what happens to your will should you separate or get divorced from your spouse? Divorce affects your will and assets in many different ways and you will need to draft a new will once you have separated.

Ontarians that fail to revise their will upon separation or divorce could experience many complications related to their assets in the event they suddenly pass away or experience a traumatic brain injury. Stay informed and understand the best practices for creating and updating a will in Ontario.

Divorce Affecting a Will: Key Points to Know in Ontario

Simply put, in Ontario, a marriage or divorce will impact your will in a number of different ways. This is why it’s important to revise your will should you decide to get married or seek a divorce. Life changes like having a child, getting married, separating, or divorcing should solicit a conversation with a family law professional that can advise you on your best course of action.

Separation in Ontario Works Slightly Differently Than Divorce.

Should a married couple decide to separate and live in different households but still be legally married, this will have no effect on the will. This means that if your spouse is named in your will, but you decide to separate, the will remains as it is. This means your spouse will still be entitled to what you laid out in the will.

Should you decide to divorce your spouse and they are named in your will, you will need to revise the will as any mention of the spouse is revoked. Upon divorce, your former spouse will no longer be an executor or trustee, and gifts and other assets that went to your spouse will instead go to someone else. Who these gifts or assets go to will depend on the will itself. The same is true for separation from a common-law partner that is named in the will.

To keep these complicated matters simpler, should you decide to separate or divorce from your spouse or common-law partner, it is best to draft an entirely new will that reflects your current marital status and wishes.

For any party in Ontario that has created a will prior to their marriage, if the spouse or common-law partner isn’t named, then the will will be revoked entirely upon marriage.

Navigate the Challenges of a Separation or Divorce Affecting a Will With De Rose

Ontarians should embrace the practice of regularly revisiting their will once every five years, or whenever a big life change occurs. Having children, getting married, becoming common-law partners, separating, or getting a divorce should solicit the production of a new will that protects assets and outlines exactly what happens to these assets should you suddenly pass or experience a life-changing brain injury.

Regular updates to your will can save all parties involved both the headache and the legal fees that navigating an outdated or invalid will can cause. De Rose is experienced in drafting up wills for anyone in Ontario that wants to protect their assets while respecting the wishes of the parties involved.

Contact us directly to navigate the complications that come with family law in Ontario including wills, separation, or divorce. Protect what is rightfully yours and find solutions to the common problems that arise including asset division and child custody as a result of a contentious divorce or separation.