Power Of Attorney/Personal Directives
Power Of Attorney Alberta
Planning for a time of incapacity is part of prudent estate planning. Deciding, while you are still mentally able, who will have the authority to care for your financial and personal care needs can save your loved ones time, money and emotional stress. While not every person will eventually become incapacitated to the extent that he or she cannot make his or her own decisions, for the families of those that do, the certainty of a power of attorney in Alberta or living will document removes a burden. At Mullen & Company, we are experienced legal advisors for Calgary-area individuals who want to plan for the future.
UNDERSTANDING PERSONAL DIRECTIVES AND ENDURING POWERS OF ATTORNEY
A personal directive is sometimes known as a living will. In Alberta, a personal directive allows you to appoint someone to make personal and medical decisions on your behalf, upon your incapacitation. These decisions include authorization for surgery, life support termination, housing, nutrition and personal care needs.
An enduring power of attorney is similar to a personal directive. This empowers an individual of your choosing to make financial decisions on your behalf. It comes into effect upon your incapacitation, and your representative can pay your bills, cancel financial accounts, sell your property and authorize other financial transactions.
IMPORTANCE OF APPOINTING A REPRESENTATIVE
If you do not appoint someone to make financial, personal and medical decisions on your behalf, someone will be chosen to make those decisions for you if you become incapacitated. This may be a public trustee appointed by the court system. If your family members want to become your representatives, they will have to submit formal applications, spending time and money at a time of already substantial emotional stress. By choosing representatives while you are still able, you prevent this burden and any family conflicts that may result.
Having these documents in place will provide order to your personal affairs. Even though your family members may have the best of intentions, and be equally committed to your well-being, they may not agree as to what your intentions are. A clear line of legal authority is the key to keeping family members away from the courtroom, and will minimize contention between your loved ones. Ultimately, it will give you control over what happens instead of a court.