You may have already made a change to your will as soon as you filed for divorce. Removing your ex as a beneficiary is a common-sense measure when you divorce. After all, spouses usually leave mostly everything to each other if one of them dies.
What you may not have considered when adjusting your beneficiaries to remove your ex was that marriage has other implications for estate planning. Having a spouse protects you in the event of a medical emergency as they can make choices on your behalf and access your medical records.
Now that you have divorced, you may need a medical power of attorney.
What does a medical power of attorney do?
Once you turn 18, your parents no longer have the authority to make medical decisions on your behalf. They also have no right to access your medical records. The same privacy laws that protect you from strangers or co-workers accessing your medical records also apply to members of your immediate family.
A medical power of attorney allows you to name someone to act on your behalf in a medical emergency when you cannot speak for yourself. You can also create an advance medical directive that gives instructions to the person with power of attorney and the professionals providing your care about your preferences.
Leaving instructions about everything from life-support to organ donation will make it easier for the person tasked with making your medical decisions to align those choices with your actual wishes. Updating your estate plan after your divorce can help you protect yourself in an unpredictable world.