A will allows you to determine who will administer your estate upon your death and also who will share your estate. If you have young children, you can specify who will care for them in the event of your death and any other details necessary to safeguard their financial stability.
Powers Of Attorney and Personal Directives
As we grow older, we face the possibility that we may lose the ability to make decisions on personal matters. Fortunately, the law allows us to select trusted people who can make decisions for us if we cannot do so.
An enduring power of attorney is a document that allows another person, known as an attorney (not to be confused with professional legal representation), to look after your financial affairs, including the management of your property. The enduring power of attorney can be written so that the person(s) appointed may only act if you have become incapacitated or, if desired, permit the person appointed to act from the moment the document is signed.
A personal directive is a document in which you specify who will make personal decisions for you if you cannot do so. The document only comes into effect if you lack the capacity. This includes deciding where you live and with whom you may visit. It also allows the person you have named, known as an agent, to consent to health care treatments and request to end medical treatments in appropriate circumstances.
If you become mentally incompetent and have not signed an enduring power of attorney or a personal directive, it will be necessary for an interested person, such as a family member, to make an application to the Court of Queen’s Bench to be appointed as your trustee (to deal with your property) and as your guardian (to make personal decisions).