The Kardashians. Love them or hate them, it is virtually impossible not to “keep up” with them since they are on the cover of nearly every magazine at the grocery store, and often make the evening news. It was only a matter of time before their legal issues found their way on to this blog.
Last year at this time, the Kardashian news was that Khloe Kardashian’s soon to be ex-husband, NBA star Lamar Odom, had been found unconscious at a Nevada brothel after overdosing on cocaine and herbal Viagra.
Odom has, thankfully, recovered, and he and Khloe are once again soon to be exes, but for a while the divorce was off, and Khloe was making medical decisions on Odom’s behalf. This gave a lot of us in the legal world pause.
Did Odom really want his soon to be ex making all his healthcare decisions? There was no indication that Khloe did not have Odom’s best interests at heart, but seriously?! Why hadn’t he updated his healthcare directive to give someone other than his soon to be ex-wife power of attorney?
Celebrities, They’re Just Like Us!
When you think about it though, Odom’s situation is actually not that uncommon. A lot of people don’t take the time to update their power of attorney documents when they file for divorce. People are often so focused on the divorce itself that they forget that there are other legal issues that need attention when big life changes happen.
Ideally, everyone who is getting divorced, or who has a family member that is named in their estate plan that is getting divorced, would take time to update their estate plan to reflect the changing circumstances. This means updating not just healthcare directives, but financial power of attorney documents, wills, trusts, retirement accounts, and life insurance beneficiaries. Everything.
Kardashian and Odom had filed for divorce in 2013 and were still waiting for the court to finalize it in late 2015. This is not uncommon as California’s court system is notoriously slow. Unless you trust your ex like Odom trusted Kardashian, the time to make changes to your power of attorney documents is at the time of filing, don’t risk waiting until your divorce goes through.