Nobody wants to think about their death, but it’s vital to plan and decide what you want to do with your assets upon your passing. One strategy is to appoint someone as your ‘power of attorney’. This gives that individual the legal right or power to watch over your affairs when you die.
Types of Powers of Attorney
A power of attorney would depend on the specific territory or state you reside in and could refer to broader powers or guardianship or solely for financial powers. In general, it comes in two types:
- The General Power of Attorney – This is where you could appoint an individual to make legal and financial decisions on your behalf for a certain period, such as when you go abroad for an extended amount of time. This would become invalid if you become incapable of making decisions on your own.
- The Enduring Power of Attorney – This is where you could designate an individual to make legal and financial decisions on your behalf if lose your ability to decide on legal and financial matters by yourself.
- The Medical Power of Attorney – This is where you elect an individual to make medical decisions for you in case you’re unable to do it by yourself.
While it could be difficult to think what might happen if you become critically ill or get involved in a life-altering or threatening accident, advance planning and anticipating of disability or medical emergencies is ideal. Connolly Suthers and other prominent lawyers in QLD who are experienced in handling wills and estates cases say that it would help everyone in dealing with the financial and legal burdens an unfortunate event brings.
That said, you could likewise prepare other relevant documents to aid your appointees and loved ones such as:
- The Enduring Power of Guardianship – Provides an individual with the power to select where you’ll live and decide on your healthcare and related lifestyle choices in the event that you become incapable of doing so.
- The Anticipatory Direction – This documents your wishes pertaining to future medical treatments should you lose the ability to express your wishes in the future.
- The Living Will or Advance Healthcare Directive – This records how you’d want your body to be taken cared of if you lose the ability to decide for yourself.
Only elect trustworthy individuals as your powers of attorney. If possible, find someone who’s financially and legally sharp and would probably be around in case you needed them. In addition, the powers of attorney and other relevant documents you opt to make should be based on your particular circumstances and the roles you want to entrust to other individuals. Seek legal help if you’re uncertain.