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Second marriages: What you need to know

A second marriage may allow you to do things differently, or move on from something in your past. Second marriages are generally happy occasions for most people. However, sometimes people forget to review some very important details before walking down the aisle a second time.

These important details are their legal rights and privileges when it comes to their finances and blended families. A second marriage can impact how your wealth is divided amongst your surviving family, business interests, trusts, insurance policies and more.

According to an article in The Globe and Mail, many people don't realize the impact second or third marriages later in life can have on their legal rights and their financial interests.

A second marriage won't just affect your future, but the future of your family, including adult children from a previous marriage, and their families. For example, if you did not create a will, and you pass away after marrying for a second time, estate legislation will affect how your wealth is distributed. This could leave certain members of your family - both new and from previous marriages - at risk of unequal distribution.

The article also uses the examples of pensions and registered retirement savings plans (RRSPs). For many people, they choose a beneficiary at the time they sign their agreements. But many people often don't think of updating this information when they remarry. Beneficiaries are also used in insurance policies as well. When designations are used these way, they usually pass outside of a will, unless a clear directive is included within your will.

This is why it's important to seek counsel from both a legal professional and a financial advisor when tying the knot again, particularly when you are close to retirement age. Consult a family lawyer if you have questions about second marriages and your financial protections later in life.

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