If you’ve tied the knot again and want to leave an inheritance to your children from a previous marriage, don’t overlook the importance of having a will.
People who are divorced and have a new spouse or common-law partner often have children from a previous relationship.
Without proper estate planning, people on their second marriage may end up (inadvertently) disinheriting their children!
Property division between children and spouse
If a deceased person has a second spouse or common-law partner and dies without a will, Alberta’s Wills and Succession Act dictates how their property will be divided between the spouse and their children.
The Act provides that the deceased’s spouse or common-law partner will inherit the greater of:
- 150,000 dollars, or
- 50 percent of the net value of the estate.
The remainder of the estate – if any – will be divided between the deceased’s children.
This means that the deceased’s children may end up receiving a drastically smaller share than the second spouse, or in some cases, nothing at all.
Jointly owned home
A second marriage may also involve a jointly-owned home.
When one spouse dies, the entire property will automatically pass to the surviving second spouse. The deceased’s intent to have his or her children inherit a share of the home could be upended.