Having your estate in order for those you leave behind is of the utmost importance. It will ensure your wishes are upheld and will give your loved ones the gift of certainty during a difficult time.
With blended families and second (or third) marriages, such planning can seem overwhelming and uncomfortable. However, with guidance from a family lawyer and estate planning lawyer, issues regarding the settling of your affairs can be efficiently and amicably addressed. Doing so will make sure that your children, your spouse, your spouse’s children, and any others close to you are appropriately provided for.
Where circumstances call for it, our family and estate planning lawyers will work with you to prepare a pre-nuptial agreement, post-nuptial agreement or cohabitation agreement that clearly reflects your agreement with your spouse with respect to property division. This agreement can then be coordinated with your will so that there is consistency between them and certainty that all your loved ones will be provided for.
It is important to consider these issues even if you are in a long-term relationship, and it is never too late in a relationship to address property division with a spouse or partner. This is a relatively simple step you can take to make sure there are no surprises or stressful circumstances for children or a spouse upon your death.
Take for example, a family cabin or lake property that has been enjoyed by a family for years. Initially the property is owned by mom and dad. However, mom passes away and dad moves in with a new spouse. A cohabitation agreement between dad and his new spouse can clarify that certain assets such as the family cabin are owned solely by dad and will never become the property of his new spouse. Dad’s Will can then be drafted to specifically provide that the family cabin or lake property will pass to his children on this death. Taken together the cohabitation agreement and will make it clear that dad’s new spouse has no claim to the family cabin on the dissolution of the marriage or upon dad’s death. Without these documents to specifically deal with how this asset is to be owned and passed both in life and in death, uncertainty is created that could cause unnecessary strife or even simple confusion among dad’s children and his wife. If dad and his new partner were married, a marriage agreement or pre-nuptial agreement could cover off the same issues.
HOW CAN LIFT LEGAL HELP?
Lift Legal’s Family and Estate Planning lawyers are well positioned to advise and assist you with life transitions and future planning. Whatever your needs may be, Lift Legal can help you draft the documents you need in a timely and precise manner. At Lift Legal we work with families from St. Albert, Edmonton and the surrounding areas to create fair and effective solutions to common problems.