Most of us are familiar with the term “Power of Attorney” when it comes to managing the affairs of our loved ones. We often hear of a Power of Attorney who is responsible for making healthcare decisions after a loved one becomes ill. In a best-case scenario, the appointer will make it clear whom they wish to be their Power of Attorney prior to them becoming ill.
According to Ontario.ca, “Making a power of attorney or other arrangements as part of your life planning allows you to choose whom you want to make decisions for you should you become mentally incapable.”
Power of Attorney – 2 types:
- Personal care
If you are mentally incapacitated, this attorney can make decisions about your health, where you live, and other day to day matters. Without an appointed personal care attorney, your family can make most decisions for you, but not all.
If you are mentally incapacitated, this attorney can make decisions about your finances including your bills, your investments, your bank accounts, and your real estate.
Without an attorney for your property, your family will not be automatically allowed to step in and make financial decisions for you. The process must go through the courts and an attorney of property must be applied for.
What’s your first step?
We always recommend choosing your attorney as early as you can. You can choose your attorney if you are mentally capable, at least 18 years of age to choose a property attorney and at least 16 years of age to choose a personal care attorney.
Before you choose your attorney, have a conversation with them to ensure they understand this responsibility and you clearly outline your wishes should you become mentally incapable.
Quite simply, a power of attorney is a legal document that helps you prepare for unexpected events. Whomever you choose does not need to be a lawyer but should be a trusted family member or friend. McMurter & Associates can help you with your power of attorney. This document does not need to be set in stone but can rather be reviewed every few years.
This article is intended as an informative piece about the subject. It should not be taken as legal advice. We recommend you connect with an estate lawyer about your specific legal issue.
McMurter & Associates in Whitby has been providing estate planning services throughout the Durham Region for more than 30 years. We have the experience needed to provide you with expert advice for any of your real estate and estate planning needs.