It is common knowledge that having a will is important, but a power of attorney for personal care is also crucial. If you are not familiar with this plan and want to know the basic information, here are some vital details you need to know.
What Is the Power of Attorney for Personal Care?
A power of attorney for personal care is a legal document that allows the attorney-in-fact to make personal decisions on behalf of the principal (the person who signed the document).
A power of attorney for personal care, just like the general power of attorney, is a “springing power of attorney,” which means it only comes into effect if the principal becomes unable to make personal decisions. It can be due to an accident or a serious illness. The document must be prepared and signed while the principal has full control of their mental faculties.
Do You Still Need One Even If You Already Have a Will?
You might be wondering why this document is necessary when you already have a will. There are some reasons a power of attorney for personal care is also needed. The first thing to know is that it is a separate legal document unrelated to a will.
While a will gives instructions related to the disposal of your property and assets, the POA for personal care only allows you to appoint someone to take care of you if you are unable to take care of yourself. It is important to note that the principal is not appointing the attorney-in-fact to inherit their property.
A power of attorney for personal care is also not governed by the same laws as a will. That means that it has a lot more restrictions compared to a will. For example, the principal can only name one attorney-in-fact, while a will can name more than one. Also, the principal is only authorized to make personal decisions, while a will can also give instructions related to the distribution of the principal’s assets.
Who Can Give a Power of Attorney for Personal Care?
Since the principal is the one who signs a power of attorney for personal care, it is essential to note that only an adult can do this. They should be 16 years of age or older and mentally competent. It is crucial that they are of sound mind when giving this document. As such, it is best that they have a clear understanding of the document and its contents.
A power of attorney for personal care is a legal document that allows you to appoint a trusted person to act on your behalf if you are not in control of your mental faculties. It is crucial to remember that a power of attorney for personal care is not the same as the general power of attorney and is governed by different rules. You should be aware of the limits of this document and the person you want to appoint as your attorney-in-fact. Finally, remember that regardless of whether you have a will or a power of attorney for personal care, we strongly advise that you meet with a qualified will and estate planning lawyer to help you prepare your estate planning documents.
If you are looking for an Ottawa estate planning attorney, contact us at Ontario Wills. We offer flexible hours for scheduled online consultation with our expert lawyers, making the experience easier and more manageable for our clients.