Estate Planning & Divorce: Your Disability:
(Provided by: Stephen D. Dunegan, Esq.)

Married individuals who are considering divorce should review their estate plans to determine if they remain appropriate in light of the possible divorce. Remember that the law considers you to be legally married until the judge signs the final dissolution decree ending the marriage.
In the event you become disabled while your divorce is pending, such as through an automobile accident, stroke or heart attack, such that you are no longer capable of handling your affairs, a guardian normally must be appointed for you. First preference as guardian is normally given to your spouse unless you have designated someone else as your preferred guardian in a written document. If you do not want your estranged spouse handling your affairs, including your financial affairs as well as all other decisions with respect to your life, such as where you live, who your doctors are, and who can visit with you, you should designate in writing your preferences as to whom you wish to be your guardian in the event you become incapacitated. Most states have specific procedures for designating a guardian, so be sure to check with a qualified estate planning attorney as to the proper procedure in your state.
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