My Divorce is Complete, Now What?
By Amanda Marsden, Calgary Senior Family and Estate Planning Lawyer
Once your divorce is complete, the bulk of your involvement with the legal system should be over. However, in most cases there is one last step to take - updating your Will. A Will is an important legal document to have current at any time, but for most people the terms of their Will should change upon separation or at the latest, immediately following a divorce.
It is common for married couples to leave all their assets to their spouse and/or name them as an executor or trustee. Upon settlement and divorce, your ex-spouse’s entitlement to your assets is terminated, unless your Will still names them as a beneficiary, executor, etc.
Compared to completing the negotiations and paperwork necessary to deal with separation and divorce, putting a Will in place is a very easy process. There’s no negotiation involved. All that is required is a careful consideration of your wishes, communication regarding those wishes and a meeting for execution.
What is Included in a Will?
- An executor (and alternate executor) is chosen. This should be someone you trust to handle your financial affairs upon your passing.
- A guardian for your children is chosen. In many cases, your former partner/spouse is named guardian, though this should be discussed with your lawyer.
- A trustee is chosen for your children’s inheritance and an age at which your children would receive their inheritance is also chosen.
- Any beneficiaries (other than your children) are named and specific gifts may be contemplated.
- Your wishes regarding your remains and funeral arrangements are stipulated.
Having a lawyer prepare your Will helps ensure it is comprehensive and enforceable. The wills and estate lawyers at Crossroads Law can assist by asking the right questions so that your Will accurately represents your wishes. Start by booking your free 20-minute consult today.