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Estate Planning After Separation or Divorce

May 8, 2023 10:14:15 AM The MacMillan Estate Planning Team Estate Planning, divorce, Wealth Planning, MacMillan Estate Planning, Asset Protection, Investment Planning

According to a report by Statistics Canada, separation and divorce are life events that remain primarily consistent among those 50 years of age and over, a stage of life when wealth and assets are often significantly more than when the initial relationship formed. As well, many Canadians are living much longer than previous generations, making estate planning and asset and wealth protection more important than before, in the event that assets need to be divided.

If a separation or divorce are impending, it’s important to proactively build your estate to protect your assets and your wealth during a separation or divorce. Whether the parting is complex or simple, estate planning plays a critical role in ensuring the future of your assets remains with you and your bloodline. Our experts at MacMillan Estate Planning can help you avoid complications with the distribution of assets and wealth after separation or divorce.

Below are some considerations to eliminate the risk to your assets and wealth after a separation or divorce that include:

  1. Consider a prenuptial or cohabitation agreement.

    This creates an opportunity to plan for the future and can protect both spouses in the case of separation or divorce. Our estate planners can support with these agreements to ensure your assets and wealth are protected through any life event.
  1. Be sure to actively participate in household finances and investments.

    According to a 2021 UBS Study, only 20 per cent of couples equally participate in financial decisions. It is important to protect yourself or lessen the chance of any surprises when it comes to assets and wealth transfers during separation or divorce. If you haven’t already, it’s time to take an active role in your finances to provide you with greater clarity of your joint financial picture, and financial confidence should there be a breakdown of your relationship.
  1. Understand your post-relationship financial picture.

    After a divorce or separation, you’ll need to understand what your new financial picture looks like, including all assets and wealth. Macmillan recommends working with our estate planners to develop a comprehensive plan that covers all assets, wealth and retirement planning within your Strongroom.

During and after a separation it is important to consider revising your estate plan with the following in mind:

  • Remove your spouse from any beneficiary designations.
  • Make sure your children and other chosen beneficiaries are properly considered.
  • Revoke any joint estate plan that you may have had in place.
  • Modify any power of attorney directives.
  • Modify any executor or estate directives.
  • Modify your health directive or living will.

Not all major milestones that occur in your life are expected or welcomed but regardless of the circumstances, our team at MacMillan Estate Planning will help you create a strategy to navigate these important decisions and continuously reinforce your Strongroom. Our team is dedicated to knowing our clients on a deeper, more personal level to act as true stewards of our clients’ legacies and significance. To learn more or to talk to an estate planning professional, contact us today. We also offer complimentary virtual estate planning webinars. For more information, or to sign up for our upcoming webinars, visit our website.

At MacMillan Estate Planning, our team of professional trust and estate practitioners, chartered accountants, financial planners, and legal professionals look forward to assisting you with the design of your estate plan and will ensure you build, protect, and enjoy your wealth. The information provided is general and may not be suited to your objectives or sufficient to ensure the protection of you and your family. You should not act on this information without providing MacMillan Estate Planning with the opportunity to ensure that it is suitable for your unique situation.

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