Individuals who are married and are considering separation should review their estate plans. Often, wills and other estate planning documents no longer reflect the wishes of the spouses moving forward toward separation and divorce.
Estate plans become critically important when a couple has separated and one party dies before the divorce is finalized. Many questions can arise regarding which assets should go to the estate and which should pass to the spouse.
Under British Columbia’s Estate Administration Act, if the parties have been separated for more than a year, the survivor usually has no legitimate claim to the estate of the other. If the separation occurred less than one year from the time of one spouse’s death, the surviving spouse may have a claim.
If your spouse has a health problem or a problem with drinking or drug use and you are considering separation, we may encourage you to obtain interim orders to establish your rights, should the other person die during the separation period.
A New Will on Separation
On separation, both spouses need advice regarding their wills to protect themselves and their children. Without a new or updated will, your assets and custody of your children will likely go to your ex-spouse, should you die before the divorce is finalized.
To arrange a consultation with a knowledgeable lawyer, please contact Quay Law Centre online, call 604-527-1161 or toll free at 877-895-1426. From our multiple offices, we represent clients in the Metro-Vancouver area, including Surrey, Fraser Valley, Tri-Cities, Burnaby, Kelowna, and any other area throughout B.C., Canada and internationally.