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Do I need a power of attorney for personal care?

Many residents of British Columbia do not know that a power of attorney for personal care is a real, legal document. Most people think of powers of attorney strictly as tools for managing financial matters in the event of incapacity. However, a power of attorney addressing one's personal care needs is a valid legal document that can be every bit as important as a financial power of attorney.

If you already have a general power of attorney or one that strictly outlines financial matters, then you are already on the right path. All powers of attorney are very powerful tools that give you peace of mind and security in all phases of your life. Getting the proper personal care after one becomes ill or otherwise incapacitated should never be taken for granted. The personal care-focused power of attorney allows you to appoint a substitute decision-maker, or an SDM. This should be someone in whom you have a great deal of trust.

Your SDM can make all the difference in how you are cared for should you become mentally incapacitated or severely ill and cannot make important decisions. For example, physicians and health care providers must acquire your SDM's consent before they can perform medical procedures or place you in treatment.

For those who worry about what may happen to them if incapacity does occur, the power of attorney for personal care is an efficient solution. It gives you the power to remain in control of your health in nearly all scenarios. You can find out everything you need to know about this type of power of attorney by consulting with a wills and estates lawyer who serves British Columbia citizens.

Source: CLEO, "Why should I have a Power of Attorney for Personal Care?," accessed June 21, 2016

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