Divorce is hard enough, but it’s what can happen much further down the track that can be worse.
The legal and financial documentation that comes with divorce can be overwhelming and a newly single person may understandably avoid or forget about other ‘less-pressing’ paperwork. However estate planning is absolutely critical for divorcees, especially if your concerned about your ex-partner having access to your assets or what will happen to your kids when you’re gone.
Can My Ex Really Get My Assets?
Simply put yes. Don’t assume that just being divorced is enough to null and void previous documentation that named your ex as a beneficiary.
The only way to safeguard your wishes is to update your Will and other key documentation. This should be done as soon after divorce as possible, as the longer you leave it, the more likely you are to delay it indefinitely or forget about it.
What Do I Need to Consider?
Update your Will – the most important step is to have a high quality and up-to-date Will and to openly communicate your wishes to your loved ones. Make sure you also tackle any amendments or codicils regarding the guardianship of any children, in the event of the death of the parent with child custody. These should align with any agreements made during divorce proceedings.
Update beneficiaries – start making a list of anything outside of your Will that may require a change to the beneficiaries. Eg. life insurance policies, superannuation, bank accounts, trade and investment accounts. Contact each institution and find out what forms or paperwork are required to change your beneficiaries. You should consider a Binding Death Benefit Nomination to instruct the Trustee of your superannuation fund who you want to receive your benefit in the event of your death.
Trusts – you may want to set up trust accounts to protect your assets and provide for your children.
You should speak to a qualified Wills and Estate professional who can help navigate your situation and address the above items.
Contact Gill & Lane Solicitors at Sandgate via GregL@gillandlane.com.au, or 3269 8111 for a free, no obligation consultation.
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