Planning for incapacity
Planning for the future involves more than just making a Will. It’s also the perfect time to discuss why you need a Power of Attorney for Property and Personal Care. Over 70% of Canadians do not have these critical documents, which can have serious consequences if you or your family member becomes incapacitated due to dementia, an accident or any other health issue.
Having these documents ready is like purchasing insurance. You are prepared for the future. Visit OBA.org/MakeAWill to get started on these documents today.
What do Powers of Attorney for Property and Personal Care do?
Continuing Power of Attorney for Property
An Attorney for Property’s duties and authority often include:
- Ensuring that bills are paid and accounts kept in good standing.
- Applying for pension and insurance benefits and making sure income is used for your benefit and care.
- Maintaining homes in good condition and adapted to your changing needs or, if necessary, sold so that the funds can be used to pay for care.
- Signing legal papers including leases, real estate documents and contracts for services.
Power of Attorney for Personal Care
An Attorney for Personal Care is charged with making decisions and acting on wishes relating to:
- Where you live.
- What sorts of medical treatments are pursued.
- Consent to those treatments.
- End of life decision.
For both personal care and property, consider the following questions and speak to your legal advisor about how to prepare the documents that reflect your values and wishes:
- Who do you trust to be organized and honest with your financial affairs?
- Who do you trust to respect your expressed wishes for decisions such as future health care and living arrangements?
- If you are considering multiple attorneys, do those individuals get along?
- Do your proposed attorneys live nearby so that they can help in an emergency?
- Are your proposed attorneys likely to communicate well with your family and friends, will they foster your independence and put your needs ahead of their own wishes?
- Have you talked about your wishes with your substitute decision makers, in particular, and your family as a whole?
- Do you have your financial information gathered so that your substitute decision maker can locate your assets, your creditors and make sure that your financial interests are looked after?
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