When most people think of estate planning their imaginings are limited to drawing up a last will and testament. Unfortunately less thought is given to living wills. People’s hesitance is understandable. It can be hard to confront the possibility that a situation may some day arise in which they are not legally competent to make important decisions regarding their own medical care or finances. Once the situation has already come up, though, it’s too late. Healthy people should absolutely consider assigning power of attorney in Singapore prior to any serious accident, injury, or illness that could leave them temporarily or permanently incapable of making decisions on their own behalf.
When assigning power of attorney it’s important to choose the family member or other loved one that they trust the most. This person will be legally responsible for making decisions that can impact everything from financial matters to whether or not to use life support technologies after a serious accident. Failing to take this important step while in good health can lead to disastrous repercussions.
Those who do not have living wills and have not specifically assigned power of attorney run the risk of serious financial losses should an incident occur that leaves them in a coma or otherwise mentally incapacitated for a period of time. Without a legal document to designate who should make financial choices on someone’s behalf the law assigns responsibility to whoever is most closely related. Unfortunately people’s closest relatives do not always have their best interests in mind.
The legal documents detailing who should be given control over financial assets and decisions regarding medical care should be updated periodically. It is possible to assign a lasting power of attorney that delegates the responsibility to the same individual over an entire lifetime, but keeping any details up to date is still important. More complicated documents that separately assign financial responsibility and the responsibility for making choices regarding a person’s medical care can also be drawn up to more accurately reflect his or her wishes. Clients seeking help from a probate lawyer should give serious thought to these important decisions prior to having any legal documents drafted.