While administration may be the last thing on your mind following lengthy divorce proceedings, it is important to tie up the loose ends in as soon as possible rather than face difficulties at a later stage.
There are a number of items to sort out and it may be useful to ensure these form part of any final financial settlement between you and your spouse, such as:
1. Transfer of property: Marital property may be transferred from joint names to sole names or the former matrimonial home/ investment properties may need to be placed on the market for sale and the proceeds divided between you. It is important that property matters are attended to quickly, particularly as you may be liable for the mortgage until transfers have completed.
2. Updating your will: Particularly as your assets will most likely have changed. For example, parties may wish to gift assets to their children and appoint a family member as an executor of their will instead of gifting assets to a former spouse and having them as sole executor/ executrix of your will.
3. Close or change joint bank accounts: It is important that, following an overall agreement in respect of matrimonial finances, joint bank accounts and/or joint credit cards are closed, or the provider is requested that you, or your ex spouse is removed from responsibility on any open joint account or joint credit card.
4. Obtain financial advice: If you have a pension fund, it is essential to obtain pension advice particularly if your pension has reduced or if you require advice on where to invest your pension fund if you have received a pension sharing order as part of the divorce proceedings. It is also important to speak with your pension provider regarding the beneficiary of your pension upon your death and update the details if necessary. It is also important to take advice on any life insurance policies you may have, sole or joint, as it may in fact be more beneficial to retain the policies you hold, rather than having to obtain new policies. You may wish to keep a joint life policy for the benefit of your children.
5. Changing your name: Once the divorce has been finalised, a female party may wish to revert to her maiden name. This, usually, can be easily done by way of providing a copy of the marriage certificate together with the Decree Absolute. Parties may wish to change their name with banks, GPs etc. and on their passports and driving licence. If these documents do not suffice, it may be necessary to change your name by way of Statutory Declaration and your solicitor can assist with arranging the relevant paperwork for you.
There is no doubt that making these changes now will make it easier to move on in the future. At Edwards and Company, we have a number of different departments that can assist with tying up loose ends following a divorce, for example our Property and Private Client Department can offer advice in relation transferring properties and making a new will. If you require any advice in relation to the above, please do not hesitate to contact Carla Fraser.