The only constant is change.
Succession planning is the legal process of ensuring your asset pass to your chosen beneficiary. Changes to your life can have unintended consequences on your succession planning.
Please consider whether any of these life events have impacted your succession plans.
Having a child (or a grandchild) does not have the effect of revoking your Will, your superannuation death benefit nomination or your life insurance beneficiary.
Depending on how your documents are prepared, a new member of the family may be left out.
Does your Will and other documents include new children?
The loss of a loved one means they are no longer a beneficiary of your Will.
Ideally, your Will sets out what happens to the gift. If your Will does not properly reflect your wishes, the gift of a lost family member might pass to the wrong person or may fall into intestacy with no named beneficiary.
The loss of an executor named in your means that the role will fall to your reserve executors. If there is no reserve named there may be delay and confusion until control is sorted out.
Have you lost a person who is named in your Will?
Is their gift going to the right person?
Who becomes your executor?
The death of an attorney appointed under your enduring power of attorney means they can no longer hold that role. Your reserve attorney will step in. If there is no reserve attorney, there will be a vacuum in control of your affairs.
Ensuring a reserve attorney is appointed will save significant cost and hassle in the administration of your affairs.
Have you lost an attorney under an Enduring Power of Attorney?
Do you have a suitable reserve named?
Marriage (or a new de facto relationship)
Marriage revokes your Will and Enduring Power of Attorney unless the document states otherwise. This means that if you have been married since your Will was prepared, it may have been revoked entirely and you may be without a Will.
Entering a de facto relationship does not have the same effect. However, your intentions may have changed and a review of your Will on that basis is a good idea.
Have you married or started a long-term relationship since your Will or Enduring Power of Attorney was signed?
Divorce or Separation from spouse
If you separate or become estranged from a spouse, this will not automatically revoke your Will or Enduring Power of Attorney. The gifts to your spouse or their appointment as executor or attorney will continue.
If you formally divorce, gifts or appointments as executor or attorney in favour of your former spouse will be revoked. The remainder of the document continues.
Have you separated or divorced since your Will or Enduring Power of Attorney was signed?
If any of these life events occur, it will be important for you to have your estate plan reviewed and potentially for you to make new documents, including:
- superannuation Death Benefit Nomination;
- life insurance beneficiary nomination.
If you or someone you know wants more information or needs help or advice, please contact us on (07) 5443 4744 or email firstname.lastname@example.org