Going through a divorce will strain you emotionally. After the battle for the matrimonial assets and child custody is over and both parties have come to an agreement for the settlement, you feel some relief, thinking that you can move on with your separate lives.
What many divorced people do not realize is, their hard-earned money can end up back to their ex-spouse when they pass away if they fail to have a proper estate plan (involving Will and Trust) that prevents that from happening.
Guardianship of your child
By default, based on Singapore law (Guardianship of Infants Act), the biological parent shall be the legal guardian of the child. Even though the marriage is broken, that does not mean that your ex-spouse is not a good parent. With your ex-spouse being the legal guardian of your child, problems may arise.
Issue with ex-spouse as your child’s guardian
If you die while your children are minors, any assets you have left behind for your children will need to be put under a guardianship until they reach age 18. The court will entrust a guardian, most likely the other parent, to administer the assets on behalf of the children. If you do not trust your guardian, then you will need to leave your assets in a Trust for your children and assign a person you trust to be the trustee, which manages the trust. If you have no one in mind, you can engage Rockwills Trustee Limited as your trustee. In the Trust, you can give instructions to the trustee on how to take care of your children financially. You will also need to have your Will written or amended.
If you do not want your hard-earned money to end up in the hands of your ex-spouse, it is important to make arrangements to have a proper estate plan in place, which is to have your Will written and set up a trust, as soon as possible after filing for divorce. You can have then have a peace of mind knowing that your assets and your children are protected if something happens to you.