Our Guide to the Power of Attorney in Ontario
Planning for your future, especially your retirement, is something you should consider. After all, you’ll have to deal with the challenges of aging, and you’ll need someone to help you manage your assets. If you have already discussed this with your will and estate lawyer, they might have suggested a power of attorney.
What Is the Power of Attorney?
A power of attorney (POA) is a vital legal document that allows you to designate a trusted individual to manage your affairs if you become incapacitated or otherwise unable to decide independently. This document gives the designated individual the authority to act on your behalf, allowing them to resolve your financial, health, and other matters.
Possessing a power of attorney in place can be a great relief for both you and your designated representative, as it ensures that they carry out your wishes in the event of your incapacity. It also avoids potential conflicts between family members over who should control your affairs.
Two Types of POA
In Ontario, your will and estate lawyer would probably present you with two types of POA, namely:
- Power of Attorney for Property: This POA pertains to financial matters and allows someone to manage your financial affairs, sign cheques, sell or buy property, and invest on your behalf.
- Power of Attorney for Personal Care: This POA pertains to medical arrangements and gives someone the authority to decide concerning your medical treatments and care. For example, if you are incapacitated and unable to communicate, this POA would allow your representative to decide which treatments you should receive and make decisions about your end-of-life care.
Remember, both types of POA can be valid for a specified period or can “spring,” so the POA does not take effect until you become incapacitated. In either scenario, you must choose someone you trust to act on your behalf and communicate your wishes accurately. You can also discuss the terms of the POA with your representative so that they understand their responsibilities and the extent of their authority.
Why Is Having a POA in Ontario Critical to Your Estate Planning?
Estate planning is a serious matter that you should handle with care. A Power of Attorney is an essential tool for managing your affairs, both during your life and after you pass away.
A POA ensures that your wishes are respected if you become incapacitated. It also allows you to appoint someone you trust to handle your affairs and make judgments. This can be especially critical if you have minor children or a large estate that needs to be managed.
Aside from that, your POA can help avoid litigation or disputes. If your wishes are clearly outlined by your will and estate lawyer in the said document, you prevent family members from disagreeing about how you should manage your estate.
Power of Attorney is an important tool that allows individuals in Ontario to choose someone they trust to make decisions on their behalf. The person you choose must be someone you trust and capable of handling your affairs.
That’s why you must understand the rules and regulations about power of attorney in the province and ensure that you are comfortable with the person you choose to be your attorney. Educating yourself on a power of attorney in Ontario can ensure that you have the right support in place should the need arise.
Ontario Wills has a team of will and estate lawyers in Kanata that can help you understand the power of attorney process and ensure that your wishes are respected. Contact us today to get started!