All About Estates

November is ‘ get your stuff’ together!

My fellow bloggers and I write frequently about Powers of Attorney, however my concerns are often focused on the lack of planning when it comes to making Powers of Attorney for both Personal Care and Property.
More specifically, although I do not have any statistical data, my subject matter experience tells me that people are more likely to have an attorney named solely for property than having both or only having appointed an attorney for personal care. People seem to care more about their finances than they do about they own care needs. Many times a trust or financial organization has been named as attorney for property yet there is no one named for care. Why do we continue to fool ourselves by thinking that we are going to live well and cognitively intact until we die in our sleep?

Dr. Katherine Arnup highlighted the death experience in the Vanier Institute of the Family research paper called Death, Dying and Canadian Families. I summarized her findings in a previous blog and while it is from a few years ago, I don’t believe much has changed.

The top 3 Canadian desires are:
Desire 1: We want to live forever: We are living longer with more and more of us reaching our 100th birthday.
Desire 2: We want to be fully able and then to die suddenly in our sleep: Only 10% are lucky enough to experience ‘sudden death’. The rest of us will likely linger. For many seniors’ ‘old age’ is accompanied by a progressively increasing number of ailments and chronic conditions.
Desire 3: We want to die at home: Most Canadians die in hospital.

I recently shared the death of a long time client of mine. Her last days were spent in the hospital and it was a difficult journey for her.

Part of our lack of planning, even by those who work in the health and legal fields is that of planning for when we become ill and are no longer able to make sound decisions. We ignore the inevitable and bury our heads in the sand. The message is timeless. Think about tomorrow and how you want to live UNTIL you die and choose someone who can speak for you when you can no longer speak for yourself.

About Audrey Miller
About: Audrey Miller, Managing Director of Elder Caring Inc. has over 30 years social work and rehabilitation experience working with older individuals and their families. She advises the financial, insurance, legal and business communities regarding elder care issues. Audrey is a recognized expert in her field. Email:


  1. Robert Stewart

    November 26, 2018 - 3:00 pm

    I understand but some of the issue lies with the legal world where they do not capture all of the desires of the client. With families being or becoming more diysfunctual, i have found by personal experience that one is open to critism and second guessing by others. in my case, for property it is the retire family lawyer and myself and for health it is myself. I have a great support network, wife (retire nurse) and personal legal team who give advise above and beyond what the retire lawyer does.

    • Audrey Miller

      November 26, 2018 - 4:30 pm

      Thanks for sharing your experience. You are fortunate to have a strong support network!

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