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Protecting your finances after separation

The end of a relationship is a particularly difficult time for most individuals – among the emotional pain comes the burdensome administrative tasks such as sorting out finances.

Although these tasks may seem tortuous/complicated; it is best to promptly address financial issues to safeguard your finances against misuse and ensure a piece of mind.

Here are three things to consider when protecting your finances after separation:

Joint accounts
If you think your former partner may exploit your finances, it is worth considering closing your joint accounts. Both account holders need to agree that the accounts should be closed. You will need to discuss how the remaining balance will be divided with your former partner, as you must have zero funds in the account before closing it. It is then necessary to establish your own account and redirect any direct debits or credits from your joint account to your new account (or make alternative arrangements).

Your will and power of attorney
Your will may not be the first thing to come to mind after a breakup, however, it is a critical document that needs to be reviewed, especially if your former partner is listed as a beneficiary or executor. After separating, review your will with a legal professional to make any necessary changes. If you appointed your former partner as your power of attorney, you may also consider revoking them upon separation. Again, a legal professional can aid you with this decision.

Home and other joint loans
Upon separation, it is best to advise any lender/s of your separation and the arrangements for paying the loan. Notify your bank if you wish to discontinue any redraw facilities or linked credit cards attached to your loan. Ask your bank for a written confirmation letter and keep a copy in case there are any issues down the track.

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News

Authority for super complaints introduced

December 14, 2018

The new Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) will make it easier for individuals and small businesses to make complaints about their superannuation financial firms.

The Coalition government has responded to criticisms of previous dispute resolution bodies by creating a new financial disputes framework. AFCA has been described as a “one-stop shop” that will improve outcomes for consumers and increase the efficiency of the dispute resolution process.

AFCA’s jurisdiction
AFCA has been given authority over a range of complaint areas including:

What you can make complaints about
Your super complaint to AFCA must adhere to its governing rules. AFCA has specific time limits for complaints but no monetary limits.

You can make complaints about: