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Estate planning conversations to have when remarrying

One of the most common conflicts when it comes to a person's estate are when children dispute the inheritance of a spouse. This can become contentious when the spouse is new and not the parent of the child in question. Those who are remarrying in Ontario should have open conversations about their estate plans with everyone involved and clarify their wishes in a will.

Family conversations are important when it comes to estate planning and remarriage, especially if adult children are in the picture. If children or the new spouse are unaware of estate planning intentions, they could take steps to dispute the will after death. Involving a lawyer in these conversations can help to make it a less emotional and more business-like discussion.

Obligations to an ex-spouse and children from a first marriage versus a second marriage are also important to clarify. Will alimony agreements or agreed-upon retirement splitting require some of the estate to go to an ex? Will children who are not in a parent's custody inherit less assets than those raised by that parent? These are personal questions that require serious consideration and communication to broach, especially in a blended family.

Not having these conversations early on can lead to terrible miscommunication, family conflict and estate litigation. It is equally important to update documents to reflect the outcome of these conversations so they reflect the planner's most recent wishes. An Ontario lawyer can help to ensure wills are up-to-date and in line with provincial family and estate law standards.

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