Powers of Attorney are important legal documents that everyone over the age of 18 should have prepared, in the event that they are unable to make medical, financial or personal decisions for themselves.
The different Powers of Attorney include:
- Appointment of Medical Treatment Decision Maker - the person or persons you appoint will have the authority to make medical treatment decisions they reasonably believe you would have made had you had capacity.
- Advanced Care Directive - this is a legal document that may contain:
a) Instructional Directives- legally binding instructions relating to the consent or refusal of treatment and/or
b) Values Directives- non-binding statements about your values and feelings in relation to medical treatment
- The EPA (Financial Matters &/or Personal Matters - allows you to appoint another person or persons to make decisions about personal and financial matters. Without an EPA Financial & Personal only you can deal with your money, property, bank accounts, bills and investments if those assets are in your name. If you lose legal capacity, temporarily or permanently, your family will not be able to look after your affairs or withdraw money from your bank accounts to pay your bills.
Further they may not be able to make decisions about your lifestyle such as where you live, whether you work and who may visit you.
- Supportive Attorney Appointments - are about upholding the independence and self-respect of a person who is able to make decisions provided they are supported. The person (or people) the principal appoints are known as the principal's 'supportive attorney(s)'. The principal can give power to the person they appoint to access information from organisations (such as banks and health care providers), to communicate their decisions and to give effect to their decisions.
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