Enduring Power of Attorney & Personal Directive – say what?

These two documents name trusted individuals to act on your behalf in the event that you do not have the ability to make decisions yourself. They relate to two different types of decisions: an Enduring Power of Attorney gives an individual the ability to manage your financial dealings – bank accounts, bills, etc, while a Personal Directive empowers an individual to make decisions about your person – your healthcare, where you live, etc.

These documents are very important to any Will or Estate Plan, because if you do not have them and you lose the capacity to make decisions for an extended period of time:

  • Your heirs will likely have to go to court to have a Judge name a Guardian and Trustee for you. This process is very expensive and time consuming, even if there is no disagreement as to who should be named as Guardian and Trustee;
  • You may have little or no control over who is named as Guardian and Trustee, how they spend your money, or what services and medical care you receive; and
  • Your loved ones may not be able to make any decisions on your end of life care, even if they know what you would have wanted
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