Your clients are living longer. And, as a result, are more likely to face complex health issues.
While they may have a will, it’s crucial to remind them that it won’t cover potential incapacity and all health issues.
The number of seniors aged 65 and over increased 14% between 2006 and 2011, and those 100 years or older increased 25.7% during that time, according to Census 2011.
For these Canadians, health directives and a general Power of Attorney (POA) will likely be needed before their will is invoked—through these people, they will be able to express their health care wishes if unable to communicate due to poor health, says RBC.
“Your plan should address your wishes relating to personal care, and should include the right documents to appoint someone to act upon your behalf for property and personal care matters,” says Suzanne Michaud, senior advisory counsel, RBC Law Group.
The following tips will help clients plan for old age and physical complications:
- Be honest: Evaluate which family member or friend is best suited to take care of you. If there is likelihood for disputes, appoint a trust company.
- Seek advice: A legal professional, such as a lawyer or notary, can ensure the documents you sign are accurate, legally valid and provide for alternate decision makers.
- Act now: If you leave these decisions to the last minute, you may be faced with a serious illness. Your mental condition may be questioned if a family member disagrees with your choices or medication may interfere with your judgment, leaving the documents open to legal challenge.