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Legal Ease
Legal Ease, Lawyer
Category: Canada Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 96413
Experience:  I am a practicing lawyer and have also been an online professional for 5 years.
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I am a Canadian citizen and am having discussions about

Customer Question

I am a Canadian citizen and am having discussions about marriage with my girlfriend who is from Malaysia and is a Malaysian citizen. We are thinking of getting married in British Columbia, Canada, and living in Canada in the future. I have savings and
an upcoming inheritance and she does not. If we marry and are subsequently divorced (after a few years) my questions are as follows: 1) What part of my savings would she be entitled to? 2) What part of my inheritance (assuming I inherit the money/assets while
we were married) would she be entitled to? 3) What other monies might she be entitled to? 4) What if the laws associated to the above change in the future? In other words, do the marriage laws regarding division of assets after a divorce change as marriage
laws change, or do the rules at the time of marriage always apply?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Canada Family Law
Expert:  Legal Ease replied 1 year ago.

I have two questions first.

Would you be sponsoring her and would she sign a marriage contract?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi - In answer to your two questions, yes I would be sponsoring her, and yes she would sign a marriage contract (I assume that means she would be signing whatever legal marriage document is necessary in BC?).
Expert:  Legal Ease replied 1 year ago.

No that is not what I mean.

I mean would she sign what you may call a prenup. It is where you decide what will happen if the marriage ends rather than have the regular law applying.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No, there would be no prenup. I am trying to determine how the laws in BC would handle my assets in the absence of a prenup. I was told that in BC today a prenup is not really necessary as you get to keep what you entered the marriage with and also you get to keep any inheritance. But I want to check if this is the case and if perhaps there are things I have not considered. Or if indeed the only way to protect one's assets, even if married in BC, is to have a prenup.
Expert:  Legal Ease replied 1 year ago.

The law is not quite some simple.

You don't share in the value of any asset brought into the marriage but you do share in the increase in value of that asset over the course of the marriage.

You don't share in an inheritance so long as you keep it separate from all your matrimonial property but if it gets blended you may end up having to share it and you may also have to share in the income it produces if the Will isn't drafted carefully.

So a marriage contract is best if possible.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi,I think you have addressed some aspects of the original 4-point question but not others. Please see the original 4 points below:1) What part of my savings would she be entitled to?
2) What part of my inheritance (assuming I inherit the money/assets while we were married) would she be entitled to?
3) What other monies might she be entitled to?
4) What if the laws associated to the above change in the future? In other words, do the marriage laws regarding division of assets after a divorce change as marriage laws change, or do the rules at the time of marriage always apply?Also, the information about inheritance isn't entirely clear to me: "You don't share in an inheritance so long as you keep it separate from all your matrimonial property but if it gets blended you may end up having to share it and you may also have to share in the income it produces if the Will isn't drafted carefully."I assume this means for example...
- If I inherit $1,000,000 and buy a house with the inheritance money after the marriage, and
- If I get divorced 5 years later, and
- If the house is then worth 1,500,000Then I would get my $1,000,000 plus half of the increased value of $500.000 (namely, $250,000). Is this approximately the case?With respect to the Will being drafted properly I am not sure what this might mean? Does the Will simply have to state that the inheritance is to me and not to my wife and I, or something like that?Thanks
Expert:  Legal Ease replied 1 year ago.

She would share equally in all savings that you have at the time of separation except for those savings brought into the marriage.

She doesn't share in any inheritance unless you blend that with other assets.

She is entitled to share in all assets acquired during the marriage aside from gifts and inheritances.

The new laws would apply but the law has just recently be revised so there should not be any changes and the new laws now reflect the laws in most of the country.

That is not correct about the inheritance. If you buy a house with it then it is no longer considered to be an inheritance as the house is matrimonial property.

If you buy a condo with the inheritance and rent it out and you never make it your matrimonial home the value of the condo would not be shared.

The Will has to say that the inheritance is exempt from the Family Law Act. That way the income from the inheritance will not be shared. The lawyer who drafted the Will would likely have contemplated that.

I am going to bed but if you still need me I will check back in the morning and answer then.

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