A relationship breakdown can instantly change your future plans.

Whilst unwelcome, it is the perfect time to make changes to improve your life & protect your future.

Relationship Breakdown

Life at a Crossroads:  Part 2 of 2

1.              Enduring Power of Attorney

Where you had previously nominated your former partner as your Attorney, by signing an Enduring Power of Attorney, you will need to revoke that document in writing.  It is recommended that you obtain all signed original copies of the document.

You may wish to appoint a highly trusted and responsible person as your Attorney, as you may appreciate the comfort and security of knowing that if some unexpected event were to happen, you had made prior arrangements to ensure that you and your family were well looked after.

Where you lose the ability to make decisions for yourself, a trusted friend or family member is unable to make those decisions unless you have previously authorised them – using an Enduring Power of Attorney.

There are many issues to consider in appointing an Attorney, and you can appoint more than one Attorney for different tasks.

Appointing 2 separate trusted persons to act jointly may provide some additional protection.

2.              General Power of Attorney

As with an Enduring Power of Attorney, where you had previously signed a General Power of Attorney in favour of your former partner, you will need to revoke that document in writing.  Again, it is also recommended that you obtain all signed original copies of the document.

Where it is not absolutely necessary to grant anyone a General Power of Attorney, then you should avoid doing so.

Appointing 2 separate trusted persons to act jointly may provide some additional protection.

3.              Risk Insurance Policies

Whilst an Enduring Power of Attorney and a Will are essential, your Attorney and your Executor will need sufficient cash to provide the support and care needed by you and your children and any other people who may depend upon you for financial support – potentially for many years.

Unless you have substantial reserves of cash and assets, you may need various risk insurance policies to provide a source of finance.

4.              Buying & selling of real estate

When you next buy real estate, you will benefit from obtaining some specialist property law advice before you start – particularly regard asset protection and land tax strategies.

When you next sell real estate, you will benefit from obtaining some specialist property law advice before you start – particularly regarding your Lender should they hold collateral security, and the protection of the sale proceeds. 

5.              Asset Protection – owning assets in your name

One of the more essential strategies used by professional people and business owners is that they do not own assets in their own name. 

Why?  Because if someone sues them personally & obtains a judgment against them, only assets owned by them can be taken from them – exceptions apply.

When someone contacts a lawyer about suing someone, if there are good prospects of success, the lawyer investigates what assets are owned by the “Defendant”.  If a lawyer spends time and money suing someone, they want to know that there are assets available.

6.              Creation of a Family Trust to hold assets

A strategy successfully used by many Australians is to create a Family Discretionary Trust to hold assets, often using a company to act as the Trustee of the Trust.

The effect is that whilst you control the company and the Trust; it is the Trustee that owns the assets – rather than you.

There are other issues to be considered, and your lawyer and accountant will advise on the various issues that apply to your circumstances.

Disclaimer: The above is to be considered as general education. This is not advice and it is not to be acted upon without advice from a qualified professional who understands your personal circumstances.

Copyright © 2017 Wockner Lawyers. All Rights Reserved. Contact Wockner Lawyers – [email protected]. This article may not be used without the prior written consent from the author. See below for more details…
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