Resource Centre: Canadian Inheritance Laws and Online Wills

Wills for Spouses

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Mutual Wills

After marriage, it is natural to consider how you will deal with your affairs and your spouse after death. Many decisions you will make in your Will may be joint decisions. For example, who will be the executor, who will be the beneficiary, who will be the guardian to the children, or even the guardian of the pet? There are a few options available for couples that are writing their Wills, which will be covered in this article.

Separate or together?

When making a Will with your spouse, you will each make individual documents. The reason for this is that each person in the relationship may have separate wishes for how they want to deal with certain assets or after-death issues like burial. Shared assets can be dealt with via mirrored wishes. For example, if you both agree to distribute a certain asset to a beneficiary, you can both include that in your respective Wills.

Should We Make a Mutual Will?

Creating one Will for yourself and your spouse is typically not advised. Typically, these Wills can’t be changed if one spouse passes before the other. This may not seem like an issue at face value; however, circumstances change. If you remarry or have children later, you won’t be able to amend your Will to include your new spouse or family members.