Waterdown lawyer tackles tough topics at Strabane seniors’ meeting

Waterdown lawyer Andrew Brown led a lively discussion on a difficult topic at Strabane United Church Wednesday (March 6) morning. About 45 people turned out to learn about wills and powers of attorney, and Brown, of Brown Lawyers, spoke directly and at times bluntly about the need to communicate and clarify end-of-life care plans and death arrangements to loved ones – even if it’s hard.

The session was organized and offered at no cost by Flamborough Connects as part of its Education for Seniors programming, and many in the audience had some past experience with caring for family or spouses, and with serving as executors or powers of attorney. Brown’s key message for making the process easier: talk about it.

“I don’t think our community is benefiting from sugar-coating things,” he said. “I think of death like sunshine…it just is. It happens every day. It’s only uncomfortable because we don’t talk about it.”

The presentation focused on “5 Truths about Wills and Powers of Attorney” and he clarified the difference between the types of powers of attorney and explained that a will is a tool to disperse physical property. He urged everyone to have a “When the Time Comes” binder ready for when it’s needed, and noted that all documents and plans should be revisited on a regular basis to ensure they are still appropriate.

“Does your will reflect what your reality is today?” he asked, stressing that aging and death planning is an ongoing process. “It’s the same as a dental appointment or taking the car in for service. We should take half an hour a season to reflect on the reality that you…will need help one day.”

Brown also stressed the need to be clear about your wishes, and to write them down.

“Legal documents are not meant to communicate with humans,” he said. A will or power of attorney doesn’t provide room to tell a story. “How will people know what matters to you? When there are problems, it’s because there is no story, no communication.”

The presentation wrapped up with three questions for participants to consider: What’s important to me? What is the money for? What am I doing to prepare my people?

“Your legacy is you – your values, your principles, your stories and mistakes,” Brown reminded his audience. “That’s what you have to give.”

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Waterdown lawyer tackles tough topics at Strabane seniors’ meeting – FlamboroughToday.com

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