Power of Attorney vs. Personal Directive: Their Differences
Preparing relevant legal documents will significantly help your loved ones decide for you if you are unable to do so. One of the documents you could prepare is a Power of Attorney. This is a legal document that allows someone to handle your financial and legal issues for you when you are incapacitated, either mentally or physically.
If, however, your loved ones won’t need to handle your financial and legal issues, you could instead prepare a Personal Directive. This is a legal document with similar characteristics to a Power of Attorney, except it is used to appoint someone to represent you if you are physically incapacitated. Personal Directives can be used to appoint someone to take care of your health and personal needs as well.
Power of Attorney and Personal Directive: Why Prepare These Documents
Preparing a Power of Attorney and a Personal Directive is a crucial step to protecting the well-being of your loved ones. Since it can be challenging to foresee the future, preparing these documents can help you prepare for possible future scenarios.
If you become incapacitated and your loved ones won’t need to handle and make decisions for your financial and legal issues, a Personal Directive is a more suitable document for them.
On the other hand, if your loved ones need to handle your financial and legal issues, a Power of Attorney is more fitting for your situation.
How to Pre-Prepare These Documents
Preparing a Power of Attorney and a Personal Directive is important, but it can also be difficult. Apart from deciding how to divide your financial estate between your loved ones, you also have to think about who will look after your health and personal needs.
Preparing these documents can also be stressful. To make this process easier, you can pre-prepare them by choosing a lawyer who is knowledgeable in these legal documents.
When choosing a lawyer, you should make sure that they have the following characteristics:
Experience in drafting Power of Attorney and Personal Directives
Knowledgeable of the laws and rules that govern the area you reside in
Knowledgeable of the legal documents that are specifically designed for your area
What Are the Main Differences Between the Two?
The main difference between a Power of Attorney and a Personal Directive is the power your attorney will have over your life and the decisions they will make for you.
A Power of Attorney will allow your attorney to make important financial and legal decisions for you. You should have a Power of Attorney if you find it difficult to make important financial and legal decisions for yourself or if you often make uninformed decisions.
On the other hand, Personal Directives will just allow your attorney to help you manage your health and personal needs. These two documents are similar, and they will serve your loved ones in the same way: allowing them to manage your affairs if you are unable to do so yourself.
With the current state of our health and the ageing population, it is crucial to prepare legal documents that will serve your loved ones in the future. This is why having a Power of Attorney and Personal Directive is essential. Pre-preparing these documents by choosing a lawyer knowledgeable in these legal documents will make the process easier.
If you need estate planning lawyers in Medicine Hat, trust Hamilton Cahoon. We are here to help you in legal matters such as civil litigation, personal injury, real estate, and more. Book a consultation.