The time to prepare for the kind of situations in life that nobody looks forward to, is at a young age and not in old age: Such as when, due to an accident or illness, it is no longer possible to act of your own free will or to take decisions. In such cases, notarized declarations such as a medical power of attorney or a living will are helpful (collectively: “general power of attorney”). They entitle one or several persons of trust to represent the interests of the issuer of the power of attorney without going through protracted legal proceedings, so they can appear before banks, insurance companies, business partners, care institutions or the person's doctors. In many cases, making these arrangements makes it unnecessary to enlist the services or involvement of unknown third parties.


In order to grant an authorized person certain competencies which he may exercise in an emergency, the medical power of attorney is used to define which legal transactions the authorized person may carry out. The notary assists the issuer of the power of attorney with the correct formulation and, if required, defines any limitations (such as the sale of real estate properties, or shares in companies).


A living will is recommended to complement the medical power of attorney. This enables a patient’s wishes to be carried out on the basis of his individual values and beliefs, in the event he is no longer able to express or exercise his free will. Certification by the notary helps to remove doubts as to the capacity to conduct business and, formulated on a firm legal footing, it also guarantees there are no doubts as to the desired intention.