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Blunders in health care planning can be detrimental

Estate planning attorneys are constantly reminding clients to revisit their estate planning documents often, especially when a change in their life occurs. When it comes to health care planning, not creating or revisiting your living will or power of attorney could be the biggest blunder ever. Take the recent incident of Lamar Odom, for instance.

Two-time NBA champion, Odom has been all over the news lately regarding his collapse at a Nevada brothel, where he was found in a comatose state. Odom and his estranged wife, Khloé Kardashian, were in the process of a divorce, which was not yet final. Khloé, still Odom's legal wife, retained the authority to make any necessary medical decisions on the basketball star's behalf. Fortunately, Odom appears to have come through his ill-fated medical condition okay, and his condition is improving. If he had remained in a comatose state, we do not know what the outcome may have been, but Khloé would have been his decision maker.

Knowing that not all divorces are pleasant and harmonious, when getting a divorce, you should not wait to take care of having a living will or power of attorney. Second, you should ensure it remains updated by assigning your medical decision-making to people that you know will have your best interests in mind. Unfortunately, this is one part of estate planning that too many people overlook, but it is an important part. No one can predict when a tragic accident is going to occur that could leave you incapacitated.

Source: Investment News, "Lamar Odom's medical debacle offers lessons on estate planning," Greg Iacurci, Oct. 19, 2015

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