When it comes to estate planning, many people will think the most important document you need to worry about is your Will, but that isn’t always going to be the case. In many cases, especially for those who own property, the document you need to make sure is in order is your power of attorney.
What is a power of attorney?
This document appoints someone else the authority to manage your affairs on your behalf. The person who is granting authority will often be referred to as the “principal” and the person who is receiving the authority will be known as the “agent.
When does it come into effect?
In most cases, the power of attorney will go into effect immediately after it is executed even if the principal is still fully coherent and able to make their own decisions. This document doesn’t negate the principal’s ability to manage their affairs, nor does it force them to give up their decision-making powers.
This document really becomes important when the principal individual becomes incapacitated – either mentally or physically – the point where they cannot make their own decisions competently.
So, what happens then?
At this point, if the principal cannot make their own decisions, then the power of attorney can step in to make decisions on their behalf. This is where it’s important to make sure you have a very well drafted document.
If you don’t have a notarized power of attorney document in place for your estate planning then there could be a very cumbersome process involved for your loved ones to make decisions on your behalf.
What if you don’t have a power of attorney?
When it comes to making important decisions about your estate, without a power of attorney the decisions could be left up to the courts to decide, and the outcomes may not be what you wanted them to be.
Power of attorney privileges are given by you to the person you believe will make the best decisions on your behalf, executing your estate and financial decisions the way you would have for yourself.
How do I get a power of attorney lawyer in Mississauga/GTA?
If you don’t currently have a power of attorney in place, you can still do it. The first step is to meet with a lawyer, like our professional and experienced team of lawyers at Minhas Lawyers, to discuss preparing this document for you. The lawyer you meet with will take into account your unique situation to make sure the power of attorney reflects what you’re looking for.
Additionally, if you already have a power of attorney, having it reviewed by one of our lawyers could be beneficial to make sure it has everything you need in it. This can be especially helpful if your current power of attorney is several years old or your personal or financial situation has changed.
Call us today to talk to our team of experienced power of attorney lawyers in Mississauga!
Minhas Lawyers LLP is a multi-practice law firm based in Mississauga. We advise and represent clients across various segments and practice areas.
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