Death. It’s not something a lot of us like to contemplate and certainly not discuss with others. But as they say, there are two things certain in life – we are born, and we die. What can make life a tiny bit easier for your loved ones after you leave this earth, is for you to have made a Will. A Will tells your loved ones how they are to administer your estate (as opposed to them needing to follow the rules provided by law when a person dies without a will).
Something else we often fail to discuss either by choice or because we just keep living our lives without consideration of the “what ifs” is the importance of having an Enduring Power of Attorney (“EPOA”). That is a document that operates during your lifetime, in the event you lose capacity to make decisions on your own behalf. It appoints an Attorney/s to act on your behalf for either or both financial and personal/health matters. Having an EPOA makes it easier for your loved ones to help you in the event you lose capacity, as it is clear you have an Attorney/s who have the ability to make decisions and they do not need to go through any ‘red tape’.
Another important document to consider having is an Advanced Health Directive (“AHD”). An AHD is a document where you specify your wishes in relation to various medical decisions. Your Attorney/s under an EPOA do not necessarily have the authority to make such decisions, and you therefore need an AHD to make this plain. To complete this document, you first of all go through it with your General Practitioner who will explain the various medical procedures you need to contemplate. You then attend upon a lawyer to finalise it and sign it.
At DA Family Lawyers, we offer all three of these documents however, the Wills we prepare are simple in nature. If you would like to have a Will, Enduring Power of Attorney or Advanced Health Directive prepared, please contact us.