Many people have (or should have) a Will dealing with their property and affairs after they pass away, but people may not give enough consideration to how their affairs would be managed if they were unable to manage their affairs while they are alive.
Unforeseen accidents and medical conditions can leave a person incapable of managing their own affairs. Alzheimer’s, comas, and other unfortunate events can befall anyone.
If you become unable to manage your own affairs, you will need someone to do it for you.
To ensure you can control who you want to manage your affairs and what they can do, it is best to have the proper documents put in place before the unfortunate happens.
These documents are typically known as an Enduring Power of Attorney and a Personal Directive.
An Enduring Power of Attorney allows you to appoint someone as your “Attorney” to handle your financial affairs should you become incapacitated.
While an Enduring Power of Attorney deals with making decisions for you of a financial nature, a Personal Directive allows you to appoint an “Agent” to make personal decisions for you of a non-financial nature such as where you live or healthcare.
You can determine who you wish to make a determination that you are incapable or unable to make decisions, however, typically this is psychologist or medical professional, or two.
While no one likes to think something unfortunate can happen to them, having these documents in place can make matters simpler if something does happen, and allow you to choose who you wish to manage your affairs as opposed to someone applying to the Courts, which may result in someone you do not wish ending up managing your affairs, in addition to the process becoming more complex.
Chris is an Associate with Rowanoak Law Office.