It can be extremely stressful when you separate from a spouse or partner that you have been with for several years. There are many things that you may need to consider actioning. What is useful to do in stressful times like this is to draft up a list of urgent and non-urgent things to do.
As an Estate lawyer practicing in Penrith, Parramatta and the Hawkesbury, one of the most urgent items that I believe needs to be actioned in situations like these is the updating of your estate planning documents. This includes your Will, Power of Attorney and Enduring Guardianship documents.
The reason why this is extremely important is that when you separate from a person you may not want them to further benefit from your assets. Even though these assets may be part of family law proceedings it is worthwhile updating your will to ensure that you gift whatever assets you have at the time of your passing to the relevant people. You can update your will at any time, which means that as your situation changes your will can change. The way we draft wills at Adams & Partners Lawyers is to ensure that they are flexible to whatever circumstances you are experiencing.
Furthermore, if you a divorced from a spouse and have a previous will which includes that spouse you must update your will. Depending on the way the will was drafted certain clauses in your will may no longer be valid from your divorce. Due to this, we recommend that you either update your will when you are separated in contemplation of a divorce or once you are formally divorced.
Another urgent item to action when you are separated from a spouse or partner is to update your Power of Attorney and Enduring Guardian documents. Usually these documents appoint a spouse or partner to make financial and medical decisions for you if you become incapacitated. However, if you are separated and find yourself in a situation where you become incapacitated you most likely do not want that ex-partner to have access to your finances and to be making medical decisions for you. Our advice if you find yourself in this situation? Update your estate planning documents ASAP!
If you are thinking about separating from your partner, have already left your partner or in the process of getting divorced, we are more than happy to offer our assistance in advising you of the best ways to move forward. At Adams & Partners Lawyers, we pride ourselves on supplying the residents of Penrith, Parramatta and the Hawkesbury with tailored estate and family law advice.
If you have any questions at all, please give us a call today to arrange a conference with our estate planning team.
Written By Cameron Spanner