Following up on my recent post about making a will, I’ve also been helping someone to get an Enduring Power of Attorney (EPoA) in place.

What’s an EPoA, I hear you say.

When a person is still alive but no longer able to manage their own affairs or to make decisions for themselves, an EPoA provides a legal basis for one or more people who they trust to make decisions on their behalf.

A will is more important. Really?

What I have found very interesting is that two different legal advisors told us that an EPoA is not as important as a will, and our focus should be on the latter.

As a non-expert, my interpretation is that both believe we should worry more about who gets the individual’s assets after they die than we should about the wellbeing of the individual if they become mentally incapacitated before they die.

In the non-legal world that I occupy, I cannot understand this.

I assume these experts have never had to deal with messiness of different family members thinking that only they know what’s right for their loved one, or the frustration of seeing a loved one’s quality of care suffer because their assets are inaccessible. This isn’t just about people nearing end of life. There are plenty of healthy people out there with conditions (e.g. dementia / Alzheimers) that mean they are no longer able to manage their affairs.

By comparison, it seems misguided to worry more about the arguments that may arise in the future about who gets the family home.

What has this got to do with cybersecurity?

Very little, although maybe there are a few lessons:

  • Be careful who you trust for advice – They may live in an ideal world that does not reflect your reality or your most immediate concerns.
  • Make sure it’s specific to your situation – You will always know more about your specific situation / needs / concerns / constraints than any advisor ever will. So, make sure they take the time to understand your specific situation before they start providing any advice. In the real world, there is seldom only one correct answer. Their advice to a multimillionaire with assets, ex-partners and children throughout the world may not be applicable to you.
  • Make sure you make the decision – With their informed advice, make an informed decision about what is right for you.

PS Sorry if it looks like I have a morbid fascination with death lately. But whether we like it or not, death is the one certainty of life.