Personal Directives

A Personal Directive allows you to specify how you want your person to be dealt with if you become mentally incapacitated (for example, if you are in a coma) and are unable to make decisions regarding your health or physical well being. It essentially deals with quality of life issues, and allows you to appoint a person who you want to make medical decisions on your behalf. It also allows you to specify certain choices you want to be made regarding your person, including the type of medical treatment you will receive in certain circumstances, your accommodations, whom you may live or associate with, the amount of your financial resources to be dedicated to such decisions, and so forth.

personal-directives1It is a good idea to prepare a Personal Directive solely for the purpose of appointing another person to make health care decisions on your behalf. This will minimize any potential legal squabbles that may occur over your healthcare as only this person will have the legal authority to make those decisions. However, as it is difficult to fathom all the circumstances which you will be facing during your lifetime regarding your healthcare, and therefore difficult to plan for. Accordingly, we generally only recommend you include specific health care instructions in your Personal Directive in the following circumstances:

If you feel that family squabbles will be inevitable and nasty if your family or appointed agent must make a decision regarding your health care (for example, if you are in a coma, is it possible that your family or appointed agent will keep you on life support indefinitely in the hopes that you will regain consciousness one day? If so, is this reasonable to you?).

  • If you have specific religious reasons for/against certain medical treatment or other health care issues.
  • If you wish to be placed in a specific long-term care facility if required or wish to have specific financial resources dedicated to your long-term care.
  • If you have specific medical wishes in certain circumstances (for example, the use of pain medication to alleviate your suffering or a “do not resuscitate” clause).

Before you decide to have a Personal Directive drafted for you, you should consult us to discuss whether it makes sense to have one in place and what restrictions/instructions need to be included.



Better Business Bureau Lunch and Learn

Date: September 26, 2019
Check-in/Registration: 11:45am
Lunch: 12-1pm
Seminar: 12-1pm

Location: The Winston Golf Club - 2502 6 Street NE Calgary, AB T2E 3Z3


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