Advance Planning is Key
Everyone handles the idea of dying in a different way. Some of us prepare a Will and plan our own funeral so that our family members know our wishes. Others of us put off even discussing such things and leave matters to happen as they will.
There are so many other important plans to make during a lifetime: vacations; education; careers; retirement. Planning for the final stages of life is prioritized last in most cases and it is often the most awkward to discuss with our loved ones. But the kindest thing you can do for you and your loved ones is to have all of the necessary plans in place, so no one is faced with those decisions when already upset and dealing with injury or loss.
A Will is an important document to prepare, directing the distribution of your assets according to your wishes after you die. A properly drafted and executed Will can ensure that your loved ones receive their inheritance in the easiest, most cost-effective and tax-advantageous way possible.
However, a Will only deals with what happens after you die. Few of us give much thought to situations that might leave us injured or fatally ill and unable to communicate. We don’t often consider what kind of medical treatments we would want or not want in those circumstances, who will make those decisions on our behalf and how our finances and assets will be dealt with during that time.
Who will pay our bills? Who will contact our insurance companies to arrange for coverage? Who will advise the doctors what medical procedures we are willing to go through? Which ones we are opposed to? How we would like to live if our condition becomes permanent? Who will make the changes to our financial structure to ensure our financial security?
While we are capable, we can prepare documentation that will allow the person we choose to step in and do that which we have directed them in circumstances where we cannot make those directions ourselves. An Enduring Power of Attorney and a Representation Agreement will give legal authority to the person of your choosing to make financial and personal decisions on your behalf. Combined with a carefully considered and properly executed Last Will and Testament, all of the legal documents will be in place to allow you and your loved ones the ability to carry out your wishes, no matter what the circumstance.
Other documents to consider preparing are an Advance Care Plan and Funeral Arrangements. Making your wishes known in advance can do much to help loved ones carry them out. These written instructions may describe what kind of care you would want (or not want) if you were unable to speak for yourself and what arrangements you prefer for your service and final resting place.
Speak with your lawyer or financial advisor today about having these very important documents prepared. If you would like advice regarding the preparation or amendment of these important legal documents or for more information regarding such matters please contact Chahal Priddle LLP to set up an appointment today.