Enduring Power of Attorney and Health Directive Forms are legal documents that need to be signed, dated, and witnessed. Advanced Health Directives, including living, will and medical power of attorney (or also called a durable power of attorney for health care.)
Advanced Health directives do not have the right to make any financial decisions.
Let’s take a look at each of these directives and by understanding them, you will be able to see which, if any, you wish to pursue.
Living Will: A living will is a document stating health-related decisions to be made by an appointed individual when the original person becomes unable to make the choices on his or her own. This legal document only comes into play when the person is at the end of life, such as terminally ill patients. A living will states which medical treatments, conditions and situations the person wants in regards to prolonging life.
When writing a living will, you must include the following information:
- Do not resuscitate orders
- Any treatments for pain or other symptoms. This is even when you can’t make other choices.
- If you want to donate any organs or tissues upon death.
- If you want liquids or similar by Iv or stomach tube when you can’t eat or drink
- If you want any equipment to be used to prolong life, such as breathing machines.)
You can end a living will at any time.
Medical Power of Attorney/Durable Power of Attorney: This is also a legal document where a person is named an agent, or proxy, to make all health decisions if the original individual becomes unable to do so. Before the agent can make decisions, however, a doctor has to confirm the original person is unable to make decisions. The agent will be able to speak to health care professionals for you and make decisions that go with the ones you made earlier. If those are unknown, the agent will decide on your behalf, or what the agent thinks you want. When, or if, you are able to make decisions again, the agent is no longer needed.
An agent should be:
- Someone you know and trust well to carry out your wishes.
- Someone who can ask questions and advocate for you
- Have a backup person in case the original agent becomes unable to fulfill the duty.
Enduring Power of Attorney: This is actually a legal document that an individual fills out so that they legally give another person the right to handle and manage the original individual’s legal and financial affairs if that individual becomes unable to do it. An Enduring Power of Attorney stays effective in this role throughout the individual’s lifetime, especially when the person loses the ability to handle their own matters. When the original individual dies, an executor then takes over from the enduring power of attorney,
The document of the Enduring Power of Attorney must state:
- The individual must say he or she wants the Enduring Power of Attorney to continue if mental capacity is lost.
- A witness must sign, and the witness must also sign a certificate acknowledging the Enduring Power of Attorney
- The form is signed by the attorney to consent to be the Enduring Power of Attorney
Attorneys are appointed to manage legal and financial decisions but you can still make your own decisions. These attorneys have the ability to make financial decisions, suggest guardians, give money gifts and decide on health services, treatments and procedures, as well as when to refuse or stop any of these. Contact Minhas Lawyers aid you Enduring Power of Attorney.
Minhas Lawyers LLP is a multi-practice law firm based in Mississauga. We advise and represent clients across various segments and practice areas.
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