Most people tend not to think about what will happen if they become incapable of managing their affairs or die until later in life. It is, however prudent for everyone to plan in advance how their affairs and family will be taken care of should they become incapable or die. In the absence of planning, who manages your affairs, who is the guardian of your children and who receives the benefit of your assets could be very different from what you expect or would choose.
There are three documents everyone should have:
1. A will
2. A Power of Attorney
3. A Representation Agreement
The will sets out who you would like to administer your estate, to receive your assets and to be the guardians of your minor children in the event you died. This allows the writer of the will to make these decisions themselves rather than default to the legislative provisions that apply when a person dies without a will.
The Power of Attorney is a document that allows a person of your choosing to handle your financial and legal affairs, including, at your option, if you become incapable of managing them yourself for medical reasons.
The Representation Agreement allows you to designate someone you trust to make health and personal care decisions for you should you not be able to make such decisions yourself. If you have any particular health care wishes, you can include them in a Representation Agreement.