This is an area of law that most people do not want to think about until it is too late. However, our job as lawyers is to assist you in making the best possible decisions and ensuring that your wishes and directions are known and followed. Most people know that you should probably have a will, but not as many know they should consider an Enduring Power of Attorney and a Personal Directive as well. This package of documents (a will, an Enduring Power of Attorney and a Personal Directive) will assist those when you can no longer make your wishes known, either by your passing or by losing the capacity to make decisions.
A will covers what will happen with your estate when you pass. It directs “who gets what”, in the clearest possible terms. An Enduring Power of Attorney can come into effect if you lose the capacity to make decisions as a result of illness or injury, and allows your attorney to make financial decisions on your behalf. It can be revoked once you regain capacity. A Personal Directive is also known as a “living will” and sets out your wishes for end of life care, healthcare decisions and whether you want “heroic measures” to maintain your life.
Death and illness are not things we as a community like to discuss. However, now, more than ever, we need to think about ourselves and our loved ones and ensure that once we are gone, or unable to care for ourselves, that we have made it as easy as possible for those we love to do what is needed. Talk to Colleen Christie at our office should you have any questions about wills and estates matters.