Power of Attorney
A "power of attorney" allows someone else to act on your behalf with respect to your financial affairs while you are still alive.
A “power of attorney” allows someone else to act on your behalf with respect to your financial affairs while you are still alive. If you have a power of attorney, you are the “donor” and the person(s) acting on your behalf is the “attorney”.
An “enduring power of attorney” is an arrangement that allows the attorney’s authorization to remain in effect should a donor suffer a loss of capacity. The two types of enduring powers of attorney are:
- The power of attorney is effective immediately, and will continue if the donor loses mental capacity.
- The power of attorney will take effect only when the donor loses mental capacity, or in other specified event(s) as outlined in the power of attorney.
Although the Powers of Attorney Act does not require legal certification, it is recommended that you have a lawyer help you prepare an enduring power of attorney as there are certain legalities that must be met. This is often done during the preparation of a will and/or a personal directive.
Other options that are available to help those who may become incapable of handling their affairs are:
- Trusteeship order – The court appoints a trustee to manage the donor’s property and finances.
- Guardianship order –The court appoints a guardian to make personal decisions for the donor.
- Personal directive – An agent is appointed to make personal decisions, if the donor loses capacity.