Lie Chin Chin

What Do I Need to Do After Divorce? Do I Need to Update My Will and CPF Nominations After My Divorce?

SUMMARY:
After your divorce, you will want to know if there is anything you need to do in order to move on with your life in peace. This article addresses two major areas that you will need to take note of after your divorce. One of the questions you may ask after you have obtained a divorce is “what now?” Are there any loose ends that require tying up that you may be unaware of?
How does getting a divorce affect my will and CPF nominations?

When you are granted a divorce, you should be aware that the will and CPF nominations that you made previously during your marriage are still in force.

What are the implications of my will and CPF nominations continuing to be in force? Do I really need to make a new will/CPF nomination? 

“If [you do not make a will or re-do any pre-existing will and you have previously willed a share of your estate to your ex-spouse], if you should pass on… your estate will be partially or fully distributed to your spouse according to either your old will or the prevailing law if you do not have a will.”
 
You should also “[n]ominate new beneficiary/beneficiaries to be the recipient(s) of your CPF monies and moneys from insurance policies in the event of your passing on”
– Lie Chin Chin “Instant Legal Protection for Your Family”, page 106
 
It is important to make a new will and CPF nominations. If you do not do so, your ex-spouse will be able to obtain any gifts and CPF monies that he/she is entitled to under your will and CPF nomination.

Case Study on making a will after divorce:

Ms A had made a will after she got married to Mr P. However, Ms A soon realized that Mr P was very prone to outbursts of violence and she often found herself the object of his anger. Ms A wound up in the hospital on three separate occasions due to Mr P’s violent outbursts. Ms A thus filed for a Personal Protection Order, and later applied to the Court for, and was granted, a divorce on the grounds of exceptional hardship. After the final judgment, their divorce was finalized and Ms A was relieved to know that she would be free from Mr P and would never have anything to do with him ever again.
 
Unfortunately, Ms A got into a serious car accident a year after her divorce and passed away while in the hospital. It was then that her parents and sister discovered that her assets, including her car, a condominium unit and a few family heirlooms, had been willed away to Mr P in her will. To Ms A’s family’s dismay, they discovered that Mr P had also been named the executor of Ms A’s will and was refusing to let Ms A’s family get any of her possessions. Ms A’s family pleaded with multiple family friends who were lawyers for help, but they were told that nothing could be done. The assets that Ms A had willed away to Mr P in her will now legally belonged to Mr P.
 
Unfortunately, the situation in Ms A’s case is not uncommon as the necessity of updating their will and CPF nominations post-divorce often slips people’s minds.
 

What if I get married again? Do I still need to make a new will or update my CPF nominations?

Once you get married again, all previous wills and CPF nominations are automatically revoked and will not be effective anymore. However, it is still advisable to make a new will. This is because if you do not make a new will and your previous will has been revoked, you will be treated as having no will upon your passing, and your estate will be distributed according to the Intestate Succession Act.
 
It is a good idea to make a new will so that you can have control over how your assets and property are to be distributed and you can determine who will care for your children and who will help you to distribute your assets. This will give you greater peace of mind and confidence for the future. Read more about making a will and the benefits of making a will here.
 
In sum, there are two key actions to carry out in order to protect your assets after a divorce:
  1. Write a will/update your pre-existing will
  2. Update your CPF and/or insurance policy nominations
Should you need the guidance of a good divorce lawyer in Singapore, consult Lie Chin Chin today!
 

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