Estate Planning and Second Marriages: 3 Must-Know Tips

Tip #1 Remember that your marriage automatically revokes any previous will in Ontario.

This is not the case in every jurisdiction, but if you don’t make a new will in Ontario, the government makes one for you. The government can then:

  • determine who is in control of your estate property;
  • determine who will inherit all your wealth; and
  • ensure that you pay the maximum in taxes.

You will have no say in the matter. If you have remarried, then you need to make a new will.

Tip #2 In second marriage situations, it may be necessary for you and your spouse to retain separate lawyers.


This avoids any potential conflict of interest in the estate planning. It also ensures you receive independent legal advice. This is crucial if you have minor or dependent children that need protection and long-term support needs or if there is an age or wealth disparity.

Tip #3 Estate planning in 2nd marriages is basically the same old game but with new rules.

You need to educate yourself.

  • Take steps to make sure that you’ve properly designated beneficiaries on all your assets, insurance, pensions, RRSPs and RIFs.
  • Understand when to jointly own property with a new spouse and what should be included in your will.
  • Find out if you need a marriage contract to protect specific assets such as a home business and investment portfolios.

Contact my office today for a consultation.

ALSO! Tune in to Zoomer Radio AM740 on Sunday, February 27, 2011, 9 a.m. – 10 a.m. EST and join Ed as he discusses the most pressing estate planning issues in divorce, second marriages and mixed families, on Right On the Money, with Wayne Baxter of Investment Planning Counsel.