Why you need a Power of Attorney for Personal Care

Why you need a Power of Attorney for Personal Care

A Power of Attorney for Personal Care (POAPC) is a very important part of your estate plan.  Without a POAPC you are potentially leaving the medical decisions for your care in the hands of the government or someone you don’t trust.  It’s very easy to write a POAPC and in Canada the government has established specific criteria in each province.

Does a POA have to be a lawyer?

No. The word “attorney” can throw people off because we often call lawyers attorneys. In this case an attorney is any person who is acting on your behalf whom you have appointed.

Is a “Living Will” the same as a POAPC?

No. There is a difference between a living will and a POAPC.  A living will indicates to your “attorney” what you desire to happen to you when you can no longer act for yourself. For example your living will might indicate you do not want to receive a specific treatment or a blood transfusion. It is wise to include your living will with your POA document.

Is my attorney the same as my executor?

No. From a legal view these two are not the same. An executor handles your personal assets after your death. An attorney handles your personal care and/or assets while you are still alive. You may wish to appoint these roles to the same people or different people.

Disclaimer: This article provides information only and is not intended to confer legal or financial advice or opinion. If you have any further questions please consult a lawyer or accountant. Please note as well that many of the statements herein are general principles which may vary on a case by case basis.

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