The definition of marriage may have chang­ed, with the recognition of equal rights for same-sex couples through the Civil Marriage Act in July 2005. But one thing that has not changed is the importance of working with your significant other to create a sound financial plan.

Marriage or any significant change in your relationship is a good time to review your finances and future plans.

“Gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender couples enjoy most of the same rights as opposite sex couples across the country, but there are some differences among the provinces that can affect your financial plan,” says Patricia Lovett-Reid, senior vice-president, TD Waterhouse.

The experts at TD Waterhouse offer these planning ideas for GLBT couples:

• Develop a financial plan together to reflect your new family situation

• If you have a young child, review the child’s education saving plan

• Make sure your wills are prepared or updated

• Have continuing powers of attorney

• Consider joint registration of assets

• Beneficiary designations — naming your partner the beneficiary of your pension or registered plans

• Review your life, disability and critical illness insurance

• Consider using a domestic contract to determine how assets are to be distributed on divorce or death