A will, also referred to as a last will and testament, is a vital part of any person’s estate planning. The will determines who gets what from your estate, appoints one or more representatives (executors) to administer your estate, and deals with issues such as guardianship of minor children.

An enduring power of attorney appoints a representative (“attorney”) to look after your financial affairs in the event that you become mentally incompetent. An enduring power of attorney can also specify constraints on the attorney’s powers and stipulate reporting requirements to interested third parties. 

A personal directive appoints one or more representatives to make medical decisions on your behalf in case you become incapacitated. Personal directives typically also provide specific guidance as to what your medical wishes might be. For example, a personal directive may indicate under what circumstances you would want life support to be terminated. Personal directives can also be used for such things as stating your preferences regarding organ donation.

I strongly recommend that clients doing wills also do enduring powers of attorney and personal directives. These documents are essential in protecting you and your loved ones.

As a wills and estate planning lawyer I’d be happy to assist you in preparing a will, enduring power of attorney, and personal directive.

 

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