Estate, Health and Personal Planning Documents – Wills, Powers of Attorney, Representation Agreements, & Advance Directives
Here’s a quick video that describes what we are talking about when we refer to Estate and Personal Planning documents:
- a document that leaves instructions to those who outlive us with regard to who will participate in our estate as beneficiaries; who would receive specific gifts and/or legacies; as well as naming who you would like to act as guardians for infant children.
- Powers of Attorney
- a Specific Power of Attorney is a document that names someone to act on your behalf for a specific financial or legal purpose or transaction. It may be useful if you are traveling or know you will be unreachable for a specific length of time and you have a transaction or something going on, such as refinancing your mortgage; and you will be unable to sign documents for yourself.
- an Enduring Power of Attorney is a document where you name someone on your behalf; to sign for financial and/or legal documents; such as helping with your banking or dealing with your taxes. An Enduring Power of Attorney typically does not expire. It may have restrictions, but it often is very general in nature allowing for flexibility and assistance with anything that may arise in terms of financial and/or legal issues.
- See attached below – sections of Power of Attorney Act regarding specific powers and requirements.
- Representation Agreements
- a Section 7 – Standard (or Routine) Representation Agreement appoints a person to make, or help you make decisions about your health and personal care and/or to manage or help you manage your routine financial affairs subject to the restrictions Section 7 of the Representation Agreement Act (see below)
- a Section 9 – Non-Standard 9 (or Enhanced) Representation Agreement appoints a person to make or help you make decisions about your health and personal care. The Section 9 agreement has much more power, see “non-standard” provisions of the Representation Agreement Act below.
- Advance Directive
- A document that tells health care providers what health care you want or do not want if you are unable to make those decisions yourself. The document provides or withholds Consent for such procedures. These instructions must be follows by health care providers without consulting your family or friends.
- Sometimes a person can have a Section 9 Representation Agreement for health and personal care of an ongoing nature; but have an Advance Directive for end of life decision making.
A common strategy to be properly prepared is to have a Power of Attorney for Legal and Financial decision making; a Section 9 Enhanced Representation Agreement for your Health and Personal Care; and a Will to deal with what happens after a person has passed away. Many people will also choose to do an Advance Directive to deal with end of life decision making; though this is much more of a personal and optional choice.
Some people will want only one of these documents; perhaps for a specific purpose.