Upon separation, we recommend that you review your estate plan, so that your former partner does not benefit (against your wishes) from your estate if you suddenly pass away.
To that end, we recommend attending to the following:
(a) Review your will to ensure that your former partner does not benefit from your estate if you no longer intend for that to be the case. If you do not have a will, we strongly recommend that you get a will [link] drafted;
(b) Review your power of attorney (‘POA’) to ensure your former partner does not have the authority to make legally binding decisions to manage your assets and financial affairs on your behalf if you are unable to do so. If you do not have a POA, we strongly recommend that you get a POA drafted;
(c) Review your superannuation fund details, beneficiaries and balances, and remove any authority for your former partner to act and/or transact if necessary;
(d) Review your life insurance policy details and beneficiaries, and remove any authority for your former partner to act and/or transact if necessary;
(e) Revise your Medicare and health insurance policies, particularly if children are involved. If necessary, seek independent specialist financial advice about any implications of changing health insurance policies.
If you require assistance with any of the above tasks, please contact Ramsden Lawyers and we can make a referral to the relevant department to assist.
EFFECT OF DEATH ON PROPERTY PROCEEDINGS
In those circumstances, the court can continue to make a final property order as if the deceased party had not passed away. Any order will then be enforceable by or against the deceased party’s estate.
Property proceedings cannot be instituted after one party passes away. If either you or your former partner is considerably ill, we strongly recommend that proceedings be commenced at the earliest opportunity to preserve any claim. If you have not filed an application to commence proceedings and you suddenly pass away, your predecessors will be unable to commence proceedings on your behalf. If both parties to the proceedings pass away, the proceedings will be vacated. For any additional information about the effect of death on property proceedings, please contact our family law department.