– from Susan Q. in West Muskego, WI

Question Details:

My mother and father are getting a divorce after 30 years. My mother has been diagnosed with terminal cancer, and she can no longer proceed in the hearings. She has appointed me as her guardian and agent to represent her interests during the proceedings. However, she is not expected to make it through till the end. If she passes away during the court proceedings, can I continue representing her interests?

Family Law Attorney Response:

There are several factors involved here that the court will take into consideration. Although the primary factor is Section 880.34(1), which states that an individual may act as an agent or representative of the incompetent during the life of the incompetent.

This is demonstrated during the case of Pettygrove v. Pettygrove 132 Wis. 2d 456, 393 N.W.2d 116 (Ct. App. 1986). In this case the daughter was appointed guardian of her dying father, who did in fact pass away before the judgment of divorce was final. The wife of the deceased requested that the divorce judgment be vacated, and the court granted her request. The daughter appealed and the court of appeals affirmed.

I would advise you to contact a family law attorney right away to discuss the details of your mother's divorce, and to see if further arrangements can be made.

Lawyer Jeff Hughes from Sterling Law Offices, S.C.
Jeff Hughes, J.D.

Managing Partner

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