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Planning For After Divorce

Divorce can take its toll on a person’s physical, emotional, mental and financial well-being. Even after the divorce is final, moving forward and starting anew can seem daunting especially when there are minor children of the marriage. While keeping up the daily routines of preparing the family for school, going to work, team sports and household chores, it is easy to forget, or neglect to make creating a new legal plan a priority.

Here are some suggestions for implementing a legal life care plan after a divorce:

  1. Declaration of Preneed Guardian of a Minor . While your ex-spouse would have the legal right to care for the child in the event of your incapacity or unexpected demise he/she would not necessarily be entitled to handle any assets your child inherits from you. You can choose who administers your child’s inheritance and a Court is required to appoint that person as financial guardian absent some disqualifying event (i.e. convicted of a felony).
  2. Durable Power of Attorney : Designate a trusted person to handle your financial affairs in the event you are temporarily incapacitated. It can happen to anyone of any age (look at Terry Schiavo). This document can help you avoid a legal guardianship proceeding which can be time consuming, expensive and result in a loss of your privacy.
  3. Designation of Healthcare Surrogate: Designate a trusted person to make your healthcare decisions in the event something affects your ability to comprehend and give informed consent. This document helps you avoid a guardianship for medical decision-making.

These documents form the foundation. Your plan should be tailored to meet your needs and future goals and may warrant additional documents created such as: a Last Will & Testament; Revocable Trust; Living Will; Declaration of Designee for Funeral Arrangements, just to name a few.

Realize too that your “children” over the age of 18 are legally adults and need to have their own legal documents, where you, the parent, can make decisions should the young adult become incapacitated, even temporarily. Learn more here.

It is an investment in the new future you are creating.

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