The short answer is that estate planning is very important. It’s important for reasons that might surprise you. Whilst it may not be a nice thing to think about, talking about your wishes and getting proper advice can make things a lot easier for your loved ones later on.
Why is it important?
- When you die, your estate may be distributed in ways that you had not intended:
- If you are not formally divorced, your spouse may inherit your estate either because you haven’t updated your current will or you don’t have a will at all – do you want that??
- If you are divorced, your Will, or parts of it, may be considered revoked and your estate may be distributed in a way that you did not intend.
- Even if your estate goes to your kids like you may have wanted, who is to manage this money until they become an adult? Your former partner? And their new partner? You might not be ok with this and a properly constructed Will allows you to appoint a trustee to manage your children’s inheritance until they are adults.
- Your power of attorney and enduring guardianship appointments are not revoked just because you are separated or divorced. Would you want your former partner controlling your finances or to be making decisions about your health care including life and death decisions?
- Superannuation is easy to forget about it – its money that we have never even seen!!! But often it is quite a significant asset and your trustee of the fund determines where it is paid, NOT your will. If you have taken the right steps, your trustee may very well determine that your ex is still the primary person to benefit from your superannuation despite your separation.
- If you have entered into a new relationship, do you want to make sure your children still receive the inheritance you hoped to provide them? In absence of a will, your children could end up with less than you expected. If you have a will but it doesn’t properly provide for your partner, this could lead to costly disputes. Estate planning for blended families is essential in order to balance your responsibilities and to achieve the intended outcomes as much as is possible.
Post-separation is a period of huge change in your life. Regular revision of your Will, Power of Attorney and Enduring Guardian is recommended and provides a chance for you to take control of your life so that you and your loved ones are properly protected. Contact us today and we can help you ensure your wishes are properly documents.