A separation can be a highly stressful event for individuals. Separations can be emotionally and mentally draining and can often result in resentment and distrust. Promptly sorting finances and documents after a separation will help to make the separation as swift and pain-free as possible. The process of separating finances will help you to reinstate financial independence and protect yourself from misuse of personal and shared property and funds.
Here are a few things to remember to safeguard your finances after a separation.
Revisit your will and make necessary adjustments
If your ex-partner is listed as a beneficiary in your will and you decide that you would like to redistribute your finances and assets in case you die, you will need to speak to a legal professional about making necessary adjustments. If your ex-partner is listed as the executor of your will, they will be able to make decisions regarding your will after you die. A legal professional will help you to reverse this entitlement and allocate it to someone else.
Renounce your Power of Attorney
If your partner was appointed as your Power of Attorney, you may want to revoke the entitlement upon separation. This will ensure that your ex-partner can no longer make financial and other life decisions for you in the case that you are unable to. A simple way to revoke your Power of Attorney is by creating a letter addressing a few key requirements. The revocation letter needs to include the name of the principal (that’s you), the date at which you would like the Power of Attorney to be void, the registered number of the power of attorney is registered, and if not registered, the date the Power of Attorney was signed.
Consider whether you need to change passwords and pin numbers
If you think your ex-partner may try to compromise your privacy or exploit your finances, it’s vital that you change your passwords. Consider changing your email, banking and social media passwords and speak to your bank about changing your credit card pin numbers. It’s also important to remember websites that your credit card details are stored on so you can remove those details promptly.
Keep tabs on your bank account activity
After separating, it is wise to notify your bank of your separation. If you think your ex-partner may exploit your shared funds, you can request that your bank change your account to require both of your approvals for transactions. Regularly monitoring shared bank accounts will ensure that you are aware of any unwanted activity, like bulk withdrawals. If your ex-partner does happen to withdraw a large sum of money from the account, it’s important that you quickly notify your bank.
If you are currently going through a separation and would like some legal advice, please do not hesitate to contact Owen Hodge Lawyers on 1800 770 780.