Your divorce may affect your estate planning in unintended ways. Below are some things you should do after your divorce:
Give your divorce agreement and property settlement documents to your estate planner
Your estate lawyer will need to know the obligations you have to your ex-spouse in the event of your death and which of your assets will no longer be in your name after the divorce.
The above may affect the effectiveness of your will and the administration of your estate upon your death.
Update your Will
The divorce will revoke any gifts made to your former spouse under your will. However, the divorce will not revoke the appointment of your ex-spouse as trustee of property left on trust for your minor children. This can be a problem where you have a difficult divorce.
It is important to update your will to ensure your gifts are going to the person(s) you intend to receive them, and to name an appropriate trustee for assets gifted to your minor children in your will.
Update your Superannuation Death Nomination
Where you have nominated your ex-spouse as beneficiary under a binding or non-binding death benefit nomination, this nomination will likely be revoked upon your divorce. It will then be up to the discretion of the trustee of the Superfund to decide who and in what shares your Superfund balance goes to.
You should update your Superannuation Binding Death Nomination to ensure your superannuation fund goes to an appropriate beneficiary of your choice after your death.
Update your Power of Attorney
Your power of attorney is not automatically revoked by divorce. If you have appointed your ex-spouse your attorney, they will continue to be your attorney after your divorce and may continue to have access to and control of your assets. This is not ideal, especially if your relationship with your spouse is no longer harmonious.
Update your Enduring Guardian
The appointment of an enduring guardian is not automatically revoked by law when a person divorces their enduring guardian. If you have appointed your ex-spouse as your enduring guardian, they will continue to be your guardian after your divorce. That is, your ex-spouse will continue to have the authority to make health and lifestyle decisions for you after your divorce.
We recommend that you review and update your enduring guardian after divorce to ensure an appropriate person is appointed.