No one likes to talk about end-of-life things, but it is necessary to be prepared. Here, at Minhas Lawyers, we understand you want to make the best decision for those you love, so here is some information you may need to know. By getting a Power of Attorney, you can be prepared for when your loved one may need your help to make decisions.
What is a Power of Attorney?
A general power of attorney is when an individual is appointed by you to handle legal decisions and to manage finances while you can still make your own decisions. It is used to give another person permission and authority to sign documents, make health care and financial choices, when you (The Principal) can’t do it for a given reason.
This is a legal document that gives the appointed person the decision to:
• suggest a guardian
• decide on health care treatments, procedures, services, and when to stop or withhold.
• Give Money gifts
• financial decisions
To create a Power of Attorney, you can get your lawyer to write a Power of Attorney. This is recommended when you are having complicated affairs. You must sign the Power of Attorney and have two witnesses.
Who Should Be Power of Attorney?
A power of attorney should not be picked lightly. You need to have incredible trust in the person as they will have control of important things like your finances, property, and physical and mental welfare. The Power of Attorney will be able to handle your bank account, sell property, and manage your money. The Power of Attorney needs to want to have this responsibility, the person needs to care. It is recommended to pick someone who lives in your area.
Types of Power of Attorney
There are different types of Power of Attorney. They each have unique use.
Power of Attorney for Personal Care – This power of attorney can be given by an individual in accordance with and pursuant to the provisions of the Substitute Decisions Act. The person you name is called the attorney. Your attorney can make decisions about your health care, general welfare like housing and other aspects of your personal life (such as meals and clothing) if you become mentally incapable of making these decisions.
You may also place any condition or restriction on your attorney in your Power of attorney instrument. You can authorize your attorney, on your behalf, to give or refuse consent to treatment to which the Health Care Consent Act, 1996, or any other Act applies.
Power of Attorney for Property – This power of attorney can also be given by an individual in accordance with and pursuant to the provisions of the Substitute Decisions Act. Your attorney (the person you name) can make decisions about your financial affairs (including paying your bills, collecting money owed to you, maintaining or selling your house, or managing your investments). You can also give authority to your attorney to buy a house on your behalf.
You can express your intention in your Power of attorney that the authority given in the continuing power of attorney may be exercised by your attorney during any incapacity on your part to manage your property, pursuant to section 7 of the Substitute Decisions Act.
You may, while capable, revoke or amend the power of attorney of personal care or property at any time.
It is better to hire a lawyer to carefully draft these legal documents for you. Minhas Lawyers can show you how planning now, will save you from having financial and health concerns in the future. Contact us today to have questions answered, we welcome you today.
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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