Last month, we published Wills: Protecting Your Interests, the first in a 3-part blog series on the what, why and who of the estate planning services that lawyer Scott Murray offers our Okanagan clients. Today we share post #2, this time focusing on representation agreements.
A representation agreement plays a key role in creating future certainty when it comes to health care and other personal matters. It also allows you to appoint someone you trust – a representative of your choosing – to manage your affairs or make decisions for you if the need arises. Put simply, representation agreements afford you choice, control, and peace of mind.
For many people, financial planning is their primary focus when thinking about the future. Health and other personal matters aren’t always prioritized in the same way. But they should be. Beyond the certainty mentioned above, a representation agreement has other benefits: it minimizes the stress and burden on your friends and family should you become ill or incapacitated, and it ensures that someone who knows and cares about you (rather than the government or a judge) is making the important decisions about your health and other affairs.
Everyone should have a representation agreement. If you are at the beginning or end of a relationship, it may be appropriate to review and/or update any previous choices you have made about future decision-makers. And if there are certain family members that you would not want involved in making personal and medical decisions for you, it can be particularly important to take the necessary legal steps to prevent that.