Power of Attorney
- A Power of Attorney allows a capable adult to appoint a person or persons to handle their financial and legal matters in the event they are unable to do so themselves or need assistance. The document also specifies whether these individuals are allowed to act separately or required to act together. Because of the financial authority conveyed, it is critical that the Adult fully understands what powers they are granting with this document and have complete trust in the person they are appointing
- Who should have a Power of Attorney?
- An individual who wants to ensure that a trusted person would take care of bill paying, correspondence and financial management in the event of incapacity or absence
- An individual who may need assistance with their daily finances now or in the future
- An individual who wants to avoid the very lengthy and expensive process of a court appointed committee should they suddenly become incapable
- An individual who wants to avoid having the Public Guardian and Trustee take over his or her affairs
- A Representation Agreement appoints a representative, or multiple representatives, to make decisions regarding an individual’s health and personal care in the event they are unable to communicate their own wishes. Depending on how the Representation Agreement is prepared, a designated representative’s authority can include:
- routine finances
- decisions regarding healthcare, personal care, and limited legal affairs
- refusal or consent to life support treatment and care
- consent to less common medical procedures/treatment
- consent to treatment the Adult approved while capable but since losing capacity has refused to consent
- deciding on living arrangements for the Adult including choosing a care facility
- Who should have a Representation Agreement?
- Any adult who wants to ensure that a specific person or persons are appointed to make decisions for them, especially if they have no spouse; or no spouse and no children, or if their children are in conflict with one another or would not be good decision makers.
- Advance Directives document instructions to doctors, nurses and other healthcare providers for an individual’s future healthcare. This ensures their wishes will be carried out by healthcare providers if they are unable to express them in the future.
- Who should have an Advance Directive – People who want to ensure that their wishes are followed even if:
- their family’s wishes differ from their own
- they have no family who could be appointed as their representative
- they have concerns that differing opinions among their family might cause conflict if a decision has to be made about where you should live or end of life