Your will allows you to make decisions ahead of time, that will be carried out after your passing. In your will, you determine how your property will be distributed. You also appoint a liquidator, formerly called an executor, who will complete all the administrative tasks required to settle your estate and who will distribute your property in accordance with your wishes. If you have minor children, your will will include the appointing of a tutor and guardian in the event of death of both parents. You can also leave instructions regarding your funeral and burial wishes.
The protection mandate, formerly referred to as a mandate in case of incapacity, allows you to choose who will make financial and medical decisions for you, if you are no longer able to make them on your own. In your protection mandate, you grant powers to your mandatary which allows him or her to administer your property and make decisions for your well-being and health. You can include specific instructions regarding consent to medical care and treatment to ensure that your wishes are respected when you can no longer express them yourself.
A power of attorney allows another person to act on your behalf to manage your affairs. A power of attorney does not extend to medical decisions and can be used for the administration of your property only. This document can be useful, for example, if you travel frequently or have a physical impairment that would prevent you from handling your affairs on your own. A power of attorney can be general or can be granted for a specific purpose only.
Advance medical directives allow you to accept or refuse certain medical treatments that you may need in the future, while you are still capable of doing so. These medical directives would be used if you are unable to consent to the treatments when one of three situations arises. Advance medical directives are currently only permitted in three specific situations: you are suffering from a serious medical condition and are at the end of your life, you are in a coma (or permanently unconscious) and there is no chance you will regain consciousness nor your intellectual abilities, or you have dementia that seriously affects your intellectual abilities and no improvement of your condition is possible, such as in the case of advanced Alzheimer’s disease.