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Estate Planning After Separation

Separation and Divorce do not revoke pre-existing Wills and Powers of Attorney. The change in your circumstances after separating means that in every case you need to revise your estate planning documents as well as the beneficiaries of your superannuation or insurance policies.

In order to avoid unwanted consequences there are some steps that a separated spouse can put in place including:

  • Avoiding delay in attending to a Family Law property settlement.
  • Having some simple documentation prepared and registered to change the way in which the ownership of real estate is held from that of joint tenants to tenants in common. This does not need the signature of the estranged spouse and will prevent them from automatically receiving the whole of the real estate if the other party dies before a property settlement is reached.
  • Preparing a new Will appointing someone other than your estranged spouse as the Executor and beneficiary.
  • If you do not want your estranged spouse to be able to make decisions about your care and treatment, including life support decisions, in the event that you lose the capacity to make those decisions for yourself due to a serious accident or illness, you can avoid this by having an Appointment of Enduring Guardian document prepared in which you nominate another adult or adults to have the authority to make those decisions for you.
  • Having a Power of Attorney prepared appointing someone other than your estranged spouse for the purpose of managing your financial affairs in circumstances where you have lost the capacity to attend to them on your own behalf.
  • If you already have an Appointment of Enduring Guardian and/or Power of Attorney in place that appoints your estranged spouse, you should take steps to have each of those documents revoked following the separation.

 

MAKE AN APPOINTMENT
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ABN 65001889317

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