When should I update my will?

1. Review your will with major life changes

You should review your will if you've gone through a major life event.

Keep in mind that getting divorced, changing your will, or making a new one doesn't change any you have on your registered investments, pensions, and insurance policies. Changes to designated beneficiaries must be done separately.

Getting married

Your will is automatically revoked when you get . This means that it stops being valid. It's as if you never made a will.

So if you get married, you have to make a new will. If you don't, your might be treated as if you didn’t have a will. This means that the will apply to it.

If you make a new will before your wedding, you have to do certain things to make sure it's not revoked when you get married. You must make your will reasonably close to the date you're getting married. And, in the will, you have to:

  • include the name of the person you're marrying, and
  • say that you're making the will “in contemplation of” your marriage to that person.

Getting separated

Separating from your does not automatically revoke your will. So if your will leaves property to your separated spouse, they still get that property when you die. If you don't want this to happen, you must change your will or make a new one that removes them as a beneficiary.

Getting divorced

Getting divorced does not revoke your entire will. But it cancels any property that you left for your ex-spouse in your will. That property is treated as if your ex-spouse died before you. This means it goes to the person who would receive it if your ex-spouse died before you. Otherwise it becomes part of the of your estate.

Getting divorced also means your ex-spouse cannot be your .

Becoming a parent or starting a common-law relationship

It's a good idea to change your will or make a new one if you're expecting or recently had a child, or started a common-law relationship.

If you don't include someone who is considered a dependant in your will, such as a child or , they can ask the court for support from your estate. A dependant is a person you were supporting financially before you died or a person the law says you must support.

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