A neighbourhood practice helping you with Wills, Powers of Attorney, Residential Real Estate and Mortgages, Estate Administration
David Reid Simpson
David Reid Simpson practices law in the heart of Westdale Village, Hamilton. He grew up in the neighbourhood attending what was then George R. Allan School, Dalewood School, Westdale Secondary School and McMaster University. He graduated from Osgoode Hall Law School and has been practicing now for over 23 years.
James Reid Simpson
James Reid Simpson,Q.C., also attended the same schools as his son (except for Dalewood) and has been a lawyer in Westdale for over 58 years.
Q I have been together with my partner for over 20 years. We are considered pretty much the same as a married couple now aren’t we?
A Common law spouses have similar rights – and responsibilities – as married couples in a lot of circumstances.
They often qualify for survivor pension benefits, for example.
They can be looked to for spousal support after a breakdown of the relationship.
It is not unreasonable to think those similarities would extend into all areas – after all everyone knows you are a couple – everyone treats you as a couple.
Unfortunately common-law spouses are treated differently in some important ways.
They do not acquire the same property rights as a married couple – the concept of a “matrimonial home” does not apply to common law spouses for example.
They are not first in line to act as a trustee should their partner become incapable – which can be a shock.
As such, common law couples are encouraged to set out all their wishes in writing in the form of a legal Will – and also should consider having Powers of Attorney in place.
If you would like to discuss your Will and Powers of Attorney, I would be pleased to help.