A short note on Wills, Enduring Guardianships and Advance Medical Care Directives
Regrettably for most of us, there will come a time when, for one reason or another we can no longer make decisions, important decisions, for ourselves.
The question arises how to I best control what happens to me when I am not able to make relevant decisions? Issues and questions include “Where will I live?”, “How will I live?”, and “What medical treatment and care I do and don’t want?”.
For most of us, it is prudent to give consideration, as early as is practicable, to putting into place arrangements for one or more of: –
1. an Enduring Power of Attorney (and Complimentary Bank Authorities);
2. an Enduring Guardianship Document;
3. Advanced Medical Directives; and
4. a Will.
An Enduring Power of Attorney is simply a legal document to allow your nominee or nominees to carry out and implement business and property decisions on your behalf. It can be given on various conditions and with various qualifications. It can provide for an initial Attorney and for fallback attorneys. Where adequately drawn and constructed an Enduring Power of Attorney will allow the nominated attorney to act even after you lose medical capacity, for whatever reason and whether short-term or long-term. As a type of Power of Attorney and Enduring Power of Attorney is a business document and will usually need to be accompanied with appropriate and complimentary Bank authorities to enable your attorney more simply to operate required bank accounts. It does not deal with issues to do with medical treatment.
Enduring Guardianship documents allow you to appoint one or more persons to be able to make health and lifestyle decisions for you, when you no longer can. It can detail medical care or treatment you do or do not want and how aggressively you do or do not want life-saving treatments to be carried out. It can appoint an initial Enduring Guardian and fallback or replacement Enduring Guardians.
Advanced Medical Directives are arrangements, best documented, to set out what medical care, directions and values are to be taken account of when medical decisions are being made for you when you can.
A Will, of course, simply sets out how, following your death, you want your estate distributed and how you want any minor children or loved ones supported. For details of things to consider in a Will see my post “Things to Consider in making A Will”