Newt Gingrich, Advance Directive Advocate (Photo credit: Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com)
Although divorce can be a very emotional experience, keeping a clear head concerning certain practical matters can help to avoid additional heartache down the road. If, after reading the following, you need a Hunterdon County lawyer to assist you with any aspect of your divorce, contact the family law attorneys at The Rotolo Law Firm in Lebanon, N.J.
Last Will and Testament
An important matter that needs attention during divorce is your will, and yet it can be easily overlooked or forgotten about. In New Jersey any inheritance bequeathed to an ex-spouse is voided by a divorce. However, divorces are not final until a judge issues the final decree. (1) Some divorces can drag on, which is why you may want to consider revising your will before getting your final divorce papers.
It isn’t only a matter of not letting your soon-to-be ex inherit your estate. If you have children to whom you are bequeathing your belongings, you may want to name someone other than your ex-spouse as administrator for the inheritance. (2)
Living Will and Durable Medical Power of Attorney
These days, in addition to a last will and testament, more and more people are drafting living wills. A living will is a document through which you can instruct medical providers about the type of treatment you do and do not want to receive should you become incapacitated. While living wills do not require appointing another person to carry them out, they often include a durable medical power of attorney. Together, a living will and a durable medical power of attorney create an advanced medical directive, which is a legal means to making sure your wishes are carried out in your last days. (3)
A durable medical power of attorney grants another person the authority to act on your behalf not only in medical issues, but in financial issues as well. The person to whom you grant the power of attorney is authorized by you to make banking transactions, write checks, pay bills, and apply for benefits on your behalf. (4) While it is common to grant this authority to a spouse, when facing a divorce you may want to reconsider who you choose as your surrogate.
Divorce is a very trying time for all involved, but a qualified divorce attorney can help make sure you don’t neglect any details that could pose problems later on. In Hunterdon County, the family law attorneys at The Rotolo Law Firm of Lebanon – conveniently located near both Clinton and Flemington — offer experience and expertise in all divorce matters.