Separation is not just an emotional ordeal. It is a mentally draining exercise especially when it comes to legal aspects. After child custody and concerns which affect the children of divorcees, the most important matter to attend to is Estate Planning.
Estate Planning is basically ensuring that your assets – everything you own – is and/or will be distributed as you see fit. If you fail to deal with this, your former spouse will still get the chance to have those. There is nothing wrong with that if that’s what you want, of course. But if you have changed your mind about that, Brisbane family lawyers insist that you need to take the necessary steps to update relevant documents.
So what exactly do you need to take note of? Read on…
- Property Arrangements
If you own a house and/or land with your former spouse, you can go for either Joint Tenancy or Tenancy in Common. The former allows automatic possession to the surviving party, when the other dies, regardless of what the Will and Testament states. The latter specifies shares in the event that one of the parties passes away.
With that in mind, terminating Property Arrangements on separation is definitely a must-do. If you aren’t sure of the ownership, see to it that you make your research.
- New Will and Testament
Ensuring that this is up-to-date is another must-do. Remember that in case of death, the other party will still acquire practically everything owned by the ex-partner even if divorce has not been finalized and despite the wishes of the deceased.
- New Power of Attorney
Just like the Will, you must revoke the Power of Attorney you have bestowed upon your ex-spouse or he/she will still be able to make legal decisions on your behalf, especially when you cannot in case of incapacitation. Brisbane family lawyers advise that you find someone you trust who will be named in your new Power of Attorney.
- Superannuation and Life Insurance Policies
Check if you have made your ex-spouse a beneficiary of your Superannuation. If you wish to revoke this and nominate someone else, do so. The same is true for any insurance policies that you signed up for.
Remember that Estate Planning is all about protecting your properties and your intentions in the anticipation of the future. Except for Property Arrangements (particularly Tenancy in Common) which may require you to deal with your ex, the rest are something which you can do on your own post-separation. So do it as soon as you can.