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 to make sure it still says what you want to happen when you die.

Getting separated or divorced, changing your will, or making a new will does not change any you have on your:

  • registered investments,
  • pensions, and
  • insurance policies.

Changes to designated must be done separately.

Getting married

Before January 1, 2022, your will was automatically revoked when you got . This meant that it stopped being valid. It was as if you never made a will.

If you get married on or after January 1, 2022, it does not affect your will. So if you have a will, it continues to be valid. But, if you want to make your new a beneficiary, you need to update your will.

Getting divorced

Getting divorced does not 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 that it goes to the person who would receive it if your ex-spouse had died before you. Or, it becomes part of the of your .

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

Separating from your spouse

If you separated on or after January 1, 2022, your will is treated as if you got a . This means that when you separate, 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.

Living separate in estates law is defined as:

  • spouses who are living separate and apart for 3 or more years, or
  • spouses who resolved their family law issues through a agreement, court order, or arbitration, and are still separated when one of them dies.

If you separated before January 1, 2022, this does not automatically revoke your will. 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.

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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