Lamar Odom case shows importance of a California living will


In a recent post, the importance of having a California living will was discussed as part of one's estate plan. The importance of doing so was brought to light recently by the tragic situation involving former NBA star Lamar Odom.

As has been widely reported in the media, Odom was recently found unconscious in a brothel in Nevada and rushed to a hospital. At the time this post was prepared he had been in a coma, but was reported to have awakened and communicated with his wife.

It has also been reported that Odom did not have a living will, which means his spouse must make decisions regarding his medical care. Unfortunately, Odom and his wife, reality TV star Khloe Kardashian, are in the process of getting divorced. Although the couple signed a divorce settlement earlier this year, the divorce has yet to be finalized.

Drafting a living will in California can help prevent this kind of situation. In a living will, an individual can appoint a health care agent of their own choice. Of course, if one chooses one's spouse, it is important to update the living will, along with other estate planning documents, in the event of a divorce.

A living will can also contain instructions about the individual's health care wishes and preferences. It can include a do-not-resuscitate order if that is the individual's wish. It can also include preferences regarding end-of-life care, such as the use of so-called "heroic measures" to sustain life, pain management preferences and other major issues.

Source: wealthmanagement.com, "Odom and Kardashian: Why Living Wills Matter," David H. Lenok, Oct. 15, 2015

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