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Advance care planning can protect elders in British Columbia

Creating an advance care plan is an important part of estate planning in British Columbia. A good plan takes several things into account such as your personal values, your family belief system and your wishes regarding health care as you age. Most people find that letting their family members know about their wishes is helpful, but that alone may not be enough. In order to make everything tidy and legal at the same time, you and your family should consider putting an advance care plan in writing.

Essentially a summary of your wishes should you become severely ill or incapacitated, good advance care planning tackles most of the issues that sometimes go hand-in-hand with aging. Some of the elements to consider in advance care plan include:

-- Advance health care directives instructing your family and your medical care providers about your personal and health care wishes. With this document in place, British Columbia elder law ensures your wishes will be carried out exactly as you desire.

-- An enduring power of attorney appointing a person you trust to make important financial and property decisions. A power of attorney protects your financial interests when you can no longer do so on your own.

-- A representation agreement giving someone you trust the authority to make personal decisions regarding your health care and your day-to-day personal care.

It is not difficult to create an advance care plan. After talking at length with those close to you, it is advisable to schedule a consultation with a Vancouver lawyer. He or she can help you create these documents so that they stand up under close scrutiny, thereby ensuring you maintain control of your life even if you are sick or incapacitated.

Source: British Columbia, "Advance Care Planning," accessed May 06, 2016

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