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Who should be my substitute decision-makers?

On Behalf of | Jul 21, 2023 | Estate Law

If there comes a time when you are not able to speak for yourself, someone else will step in to make decisions for you. The decisions will have a very real impact on you and your legacy, so it is crucial that you appoint the right people to step in as your substitute decision-makers.

So, who are the right people?

People who are willing and able

You want to be sure that whomever you choose has the ability and willingness to take on this role.

For instance, if they live far away or have serious medical issues, putting them in this type of role could ultimately cause more stress than anything.

Instead, you can choose someone you have talked to about your wishes and who has said they are prepared to fulfill the intended role. Other considerations are whether these parties have legal or financial backgrounds, which could make them more than capable of handling related matters.

People you trust

Making decisions on someone else’s behalf is a tremendous responsibility. As such, when choosing your executors or trustees, make sure these are people you can trust to fulfil your wishes and make informed decisions.

You might want to avoid people you do not know well or someone with a criminal history. And people who gamble or make risky decisions may not be the ones you would trust with your personal care, final arrangements and property distribution.

People who know what you want

Your substitute decision-makers shouldn’t have to guess what you would want or do in a specific situation. Thus, the people you choose should be familiar with your:

  • Financial attitudes
  • Religious or cultural background
  • Views on medical care
  • Attitudes toward family
  • Charitable aspirations

Knowing how you feel can ensure the people making decisions on your behalf do so according to what you want.

No one wants to think about the end of their life or what life would look like if they couldn’t express themselves. However, not thinking about these things doesn’t make them go away. In fact, ignoring them can mean failing to put a plan in place that provides essential guidance and protection. Appointing effective and trusted decision-makers can be an essential aspect of this plan.

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