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Canada is in the midst of an unprecedented crisis. COVID-19, which entered the public discussion over a year ago, continues to make ground, this time resurfacing in a brutal third wave. Although there is some light at the end of the tunnel in the form of a mounting vaccine rollout, the crisis is still present, still affecting thousands of Canadians.
By now, most people understand what they can do to help others. Wear a mask, practice frequent hand-washing and avoid inessential indoor gatherings. But what many Canadians are beginning to realize is that they also have to help themselves.
The pandemic has laid bare the uncertainty and fragility of life. It has also made people reconsider their priorities – what, in life, is most important? What is worth protecting? To help yourself and those you care about, it’s important to get your affairs in order.
You have several options for getting your affairs in order, each only requiring a few simple visits with an online lawyer and a few weighty conversations with loved ones. Here, to help you think more about your personal and financial future, are a few ways to prepare.
Creating a Will
Young or young-at-heart, you should have a personal will. A personal will outlines your wishes for after you pass away. It enables you to name beneficiaries for your money, possessions and real estate, and, if applicable, appoint guardians for your dependents. Leaving behind an estate without a will may mire your loved ones in lengthy legal proceedings, as the disposition of your estate follows standard government rules.
It’s never too early to start. Doing so will give you peace of mind knowing that your wishes are enshrined in a legal document.
Appointing a Power of Attorney
Unlike a will, which takes effect after you die, power of attorney appointment is in effect while you are still alive. It grants another person authority to make decisions on your behalf if you are mentally incapable. These decisions may affect your finances, housing or even health.
You can put whatever limits you see fit on a power of attorney, and you may choose several powers of attorney if you wish. The goal here is to choose someone who cares about you and has a vested interest in your wellbeing. To select a power of attorney in Ontario and draft a personal will, contact an online lawyer who can execute the process virtually for a fixed price quote.
Advance Care Planning
Advance care planning involves reflection and communication about the kind of health care you want in the future, especially when you’re no longer able to advocate for your wishes. It is an opportunity to reflect on your personal values and wishes. But it’s also a resource for your loved ones; having a followable set of wishes eliminates the need for tough, distressing conversations.
This guide from BC Health includes several resources (in numerous languages), including informational brochures, legal information and forms.
With luck, the pandemic will not affect you personally. But it can still be an engine for change, a reminder to set your affairs in order while you are still healthy and able. Contact an online lawyer today and read through your local health authority’s resources on advance care planning. s