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Lessons Learned: Medical Advance Directives Following a Divorce

When people get divorced, they often think about rewriting their Last Will & Testament to remove their former spouse as a beneficiary. There are actually more issues than that which need to be addressed timely. If you are newly divorced, you should have a:

1. Written medical advance directive designating an advocate to make medical decisions

2. Designation of guardian for a minor child in the event the parent becomes incapacitated or dies

3. Durable power of attorney designating an agent to make financial decisions.

Divorcees who fails to plan will find themselves the subject of a time-consuming, expensive, and public guardianship court proceeding. Another unintended result of failing to plan could be that the former spouse gets to manage assets left for a minor child. Proper planning is crucial and should be done during the divorce proceeding to ensure that a person’s preferences are honored.

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Proper Planning May Create Peace of Mind