Splitting your finances

This isn’t such a cheery post but an important one, nonetheless.

I often advise clients on how to merge their finances. Lately, though, as is reality in life, I have had to split finances. This is trickier than doing the former.

If you find yourself in a situation where you and your partner are separating, here are some things (not a complete list) you need to take care of in terms of your finances*:

  • Home: who will be staying? If you own it, you’ll likely be contacting a professional to help split it. If renting, who’s name is on the lease and can this be easily changed?
  • Bank accounts: if you had a joint account, remove one of the names after splitting the funds.
  • Investments: decide which investments need to be split and change the beneficiary on your RRSPs and TFSAs.
  • Bills: change the account holder for the person staying in the current home.
  • Address: if you are moving, ensure your banking/investments/insurance address is forwarded and changed.
  • Life insurance policies: change the beneficiary (unless required for loan, children, etc.).  It is best to make your beneficiary an actual person instead of your estate.
  • Health coverage: ensure that each person is covered under their own company’s health plan and the other is removed. Submit all receipts for services incurred before the separation.

This list is not exhaustive and there are many more details to work out. Best of luck through this difficult time.

*If you are dealing with a lawyer, he or she will guide you through this process and advise regarding beneficiary changes, especially if there are children involved.