Just A Minute - Podcast Episode 15: Family Law Considerations

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[00:10] Welcome to a new episode of “Just A Minute” by Landmark Law. Today’s episode is presented to you by Abi on February 17th, 2023 to help educate our listeners on various legal scenarios.

[00:22] BELL CHIME
[00:23] Today’s episode will be on Family Law considerations.

[00:26] Some people have asked, “what if I do not wish to leave any portion of my estate to my spouse? And What if I want to pass my entire estate to my children directly, providing nothing to my spouse or future children?”

[00:39] When contemplating such questions, it is important to note that any jointly owned assets, such as real property, joint bank accounts, etc., will pass by way of survivorship to the surviving spouse. Suppose you do not wish for the jointly owned properties/real properties to pass to any joint owners, such as your spouse. In that case, you have to make changes to the title. Essentially, jointly owned properties/real properties do not pass under the Will but pass by way of survivorship contrary to what the Will expresses.

[01:10] Additionally, suppose the surviving spouse does not receive anything from the Will. In that case, the surviving spouse can make a family law act election within six months from the date of death to claim an equalization of net family property under section 6 of the Family Law Act.

[01:28] The takeaway is that under Ontario family law, the family law election is available and should be kept in mind when drafting your Will. Essentially, the focus is on what the deceased is distributing in the Will. However, the law wants to ensure that the surviving spouse should also be kept in mind. Again, we cannot comment on the success of these potential challenges but wish to bring it to your attention that these challenges are available and should be kept in mind when drafting your Will. Hence, it is recommended that both you and your spouse speak independently with a family lawyer to prepare a marriage contract and expressly agree that both spouses will not make any family law claims.

[02:06] If you are interested in drafting your Will, please visit Landmarklaw.ca to learn more, and make sure to tune in for the next 2 episodes, which will cover Family Law & Trustee considerations when drafting a will involving Minor children.