1) A Representation Agreement is, very simply, a document that says, “STOP” life support (and under what circumstances) or “DO NOT STOP” life support. This is the document lets YOU choose! And it does provide legal consent for the choices you make. It also stipulates who your Representative will be; who it is that you have chosen to speak on your behalf should you become unable to speak on your own behalf. This is a biggie! This document is THE document that has the power to determine your End. It also frees your family and your loved ones from guessing as to what your intentions really are.
***Please note*** A Representation Agreement DOES provide legal consent regarding your end of days whereas, a Living Will DOES NOT provide legal consent regarding your end of days.
***Please note*** There is much more to the document than just a yes or no….you will need to fill out when a stop order should be given and under what circumstances a stop order would apply.
2) The Representation Agreement is a FREE PDF download offered by the wonderful people at Nidus. (www.nidus.ca) Nidus also offers FREE assistance – please, check their website for more information.
3) Where should you keep this document? The Nidus people will “hold” onto it for a very nominal fee. Another option, ask your Doctor to store the agreement in your file at his/her office. You might also want to store the Representation Agreement, securely wrapped in a plastic bag, in your freezer. Freezers don’t burn down in case of a fire:) The best option — keep a copy in your freezer and at your doctors office and with the Nidus people…doesn’t matter where you are — someone will have access to a copy.
POA / Enduring POA
4) Remember, a POA (Power of Attorney) is all about who has the right to access your financial holdings — investments, real estate, cash, etc., ALWAYS hire a lawyer or notary when filling this document out. Your lawyer (notary) will advise you as to which conditions may need to be attached. Don’t mess around with this document — get legal advice.
5) The difference between a POA and an Enduring POA – the prior is only valid when you are cognitively intact…an Enduring POA takes over when you are NOT cognitively intact. Speak with your legal professional regarding both types of POA’s.
6) This is a document that your doctor fills out for you on your behalf. It is a document which states what health conditions you are currently living with. Most assisted living buildings and all residential care buildings would require a copy of this document before allowing you to move in. Why? This document helps the buildings staff understand if they are qualified to manage your care.
7) If you are considering moving to an assisted living community, on your next visit with your Doctor, ask him/her to fill it out….this way, you won’t have to make a second trip to the doctor, you will already have your Physicians Statement in hand to take with you to the building of your choice.
MOST (Medical Order for Scope of Treatment)
8) People with or without a Representation Agreement may also need to fill out a MOST document. It is similar to a Representation Agreement but not as comprehensive. The MOST order can direct your care regarding such things a “do or do not resuscitate.” For more information, please click on the link listed below…
Wills and Estates
9) A Will states what you want done with your assets and debts when you die. It is called a “dead” document because no one (except your lawyer or notary) will see this document until after you have passed. Your burial and cremation wishes are not usually part of your Will.
***Please note*** There is some discussion regarding low income seniors; namely, should low income individuals have a Will? Some people suggest that all individuals should have a Will, even if there is nothing to gift to anyone but if there is nothing to gift we are not sure what the benefit is? Keep in mind, the government does pay a death benefit and a Will would enable you to name the beneficiary of this benefit… hmmm… worth considering, that’s for sure. Again, Mats and Pats does NOT offer legal advice...Mats and Pats is simply providing food for thought.