There could come a time in your life when you are no longer able to make sound decisions regarding your own health and well-being, as well as with respect to your finances.
Such a circumstance could arise from the onset of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, or a stroke, for example. In other cases, cognitive function could be severely impaired as a result of an accident.
Whatever the case, the law makes provision for this by providing you with the option to appoint a trusted person to make key decisions for you when you are not able to make them yourself, keeping your best interests at heart.
In wills and estates law, we call this kind of arrangement “enduring guardianship and power of attorney.”
Let us review what each of these concepts is and how they might apply.
When your mental capacity to make decisions regarding your health and well-being is critically impaired, enduring guardianship could be invoked. This places you under the care of another capable and trusted person, with the expectation that they will act in your best interests and make decisions about your lifestyle in a responsible manner.
This arrangement is quite similar to that of a parent’s guardianship over their child, whereby they are responsible for the impaired person’s well-being.
Power Of Attorney
A power of attorney is a legal document that allows you to appoint a person(s) to manage financial and legal decisions on your behalf, and continue even if you lose the ability to make decisions for yourself.
Typically, such an arrangement would come into effect if you were in an accident, in a coma, or suffering from an illness, for example, leaving you incapable of making decisions for yourself for a time. During such a time, if key decisions regarding your estate need to be made, your attorney could make decisions about your financial and legal affairs while you are incapacitated.
Whether due to an accident, illness or old age, it is strongly advised that you appoint trusted and capable persons of your choosing in advance to have power of attorney, as well as enduring guardianship over you and your assets because you never know when you might need assistance.
It is important to do this before you lose the capacity to make your own decisions.
At Rafton Family Lawyers, we can help you draw up the necessary documents to ensure that power of attorney and enduring guardianship are set up for you should you ever need them. Contact us now to get help today!