What is a Will?
A Will is a legal document that sets out your wishes for the distribution of your assets after your death, including care of any minor children.
Advance Health Directive
This is a written statement you make directly to medical personnel that details the type of treatment you want (or don’t want) if you become unable to make reasonable judgements about a treatment decision at the time treatment is required. You can use this statement to say as much or as little as you wish about the kind of healthcare you want to receive.
Power of Attorney
A Power of Attorney is simply a document under which a person (“the donor”) gives to another person (“the donee”) the power to act on their behalf: to stand in their shoes. The extent to which the donee can stand in the shoes of the donor is governed by the terms of the Power of Attorney document itself. The effect of a Power of Attorney is that all acts done by the donee with the power held by them will have the same legal effect as if they had been done by the donor.
Why are Powers of Attorney so Important?
Medical science of the 1990’s has prolonged our life on this planet longer than at any other time before by protecting us from disease and accidents. The killers of yesterday are no longer killing us. The problem is however that they are disabling us, sometimes beyond our own ability to care for ourselves. That is where the Enduring Power of Attorney comes into its own.
Enduring Power of Attorney
An Enduring Power of Attorney is a Power of Attorney that continues beyond the time that the donor is unable to make decisions due to accident or illness and is unable to conduct their affairs. In legal terms this is referred to as legal capacity. This is an important concept. By its very nature an Enduring Power of Attorney is an extremely valuable document which provides peace of mind and the certainty that business and personal affairs can continue in an orderly fashion.
It is important to remember that only an Enduring Power of Attorney continues past the incapacity of the donor. A limited or general Power of Attorney actually ceases to operate once the donor has a mental disorder or impairment affecting judgement and behaviour.
An Enduring Power of Attorney gives power only in relation to financial and property decisions.
Enduring Power of Guardianship
This document appoints someone you trust to make personal, lifestyle and treatment decisions on your behalf if you lose the ability to make these decisions for yourself because of an illness or injury. The person who has this power may be your spouse or partner, relative or close friend.