Episode 25

Wealth Management & Family Law

Part 1: Family Patrimony

Family law is an essential aspect of wealth management that is unfortunately often overlooked. It’s a very complex topic and there’s so much an empowered investor should know about that we decided to do a series where we will discuss the division and the separation of assets in various contexts.


Whether you are entering into a serious relationship, have children that are soon to be married or are in a difficult period and entering into a separation or divorce process, this applies to you. We’re looking at how the different areas of Canadian law treat assets in these situations and what you can do to protect yourself, and understand your rights and obligations.

We are very excited to start the series with our guest, Patricia Fourcand, who will be sharing about the Civil Code in Québec and, more specifically, the family patrimony. Patricia is a lawyer and partner at Miller Thomson, a large Canadian law firm with offices all over the country. She has over 20 years of experience in family law with expertise including divorce, separation, and child custody. Patricia is also a fellow at the International Academy of Family Lawyers, which is a worldwide association that recognizes lawyers that are the most experienced and skilled in family law in their respective countries.

On this episode, Ruben and Patricia talk about what family patrimony is, why it was put into law, the types of assets that are partitioned under the family patrimony, exclusions to the family patrimony, how you can protect your assets, and so much more!

Key Topics:

  • Why we’re talking about family law (1:25)
  • Patricia’s areas of expertise (4:47)
  • How assets are divided at the time of separation, death or divorce under Québec law (6:37)
  • The main types of assets that are partitionable under the family patrimony? (8:20)
  • How a family patrimony is created (10:49)
  • The key criteria used to determine whether a car or residence is part of the family patrimony (12:07)
  • The historically disadvantaged position many wives were left in after divorce (14:01)
  • Introduction of the family patrimony into law (15:45)
  • Family residences purchased by one spouse prior to marriage (16:45)
  • Inheritances and donations received by one spouse during the marriage (18:43)
  • Why clear documentation of gifts and donation is critical (20:07)
  • The problem with commingling assets from various sources (21:21)
  • The benefit of consulting with a family lawyer before marriage (22:47)
  • And much more!

Mentioned in this Episode:


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Keith Matthews

Partner & Portfolio Manager

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Ruben Antoine

Portfolio Manager

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Marcelo Taboada

Associate Portfolio Manager

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