QUESTION: I just live on a pension in a rental apartment. I don't really have much. Do I need a Will and Power of Attorney?
Dear Senior Citizen,
One of the best gifts you can give to your family, is to take a little time to make things easier after you are gone or unable to handle your affairs.
Even if you don't have many assets, there will be matters to look after when you're gone. Your executor is the person you pick and designate in your will to arrange for your funeral, to receive and distribute your personal items and your final cheques.
If, as you grow older, you become unable to handle your financial matters, it is important that you have chosen the person you want to do it for you. The person you pick in your "Financial Power of Attorney" will then be in charge. If you don't have a Power of Attorney, the Government, through the Public Trustee, will become involved, or your family will have to go to Court to get permission to take the job on.
Death is one of the two famous inevitabilities. Do you want to be kept alive on a machine or let go mercifully? You may wish to put a "Living Will" provision in your "Personal Care Power of Attorney", to let your family know your thoughts. Believe me, they will be glad to know how you feel on this issue, instead of being left wondering if they did the right thing.