By Sanda King, LLB
A Power of Attorney is a legal document in which an adult individual may grant authority to another adult individual to act as his or her attorney to deal with financial matters. There is a misnomer that an attorney under a Power of Attorney has authority over everything regarding that adult individual, but the Power of Attorney deals solely with financial matters. (ie, NOT medical decision making authority). The attorney has authority to deal with the financial matters of the adult individual, everything that the adult individual could do himself with respect to financial matters.
State of Mind and Your State of Affairs
The Power of Attorney may also continue in effect if the adult individual becomes mentally incapable. This is what makes it an enduring power of attorney. Individuals who seek to appoint someone under a Power of Attorney need to consider carefully who they are granting this authority to, as this is a simple legal document that gives a substantial amount of power and control away to someone else.
Save Time and Money: Protect Your Joint Assets
Even if you hold assets jointly (ie in both spouses’ names), it may still be appropriate to have a Power of Attorney for each other in case one spouse becomes mentally incapable, as the other spouse would not be able to deal with the joint assets without obtaining a grant of committeeship, which can be a costly and time consuming court process.
The Power of Attorney remains an effective estate planning tool to allow adult individuals to choose whom they wish to help them with their financial affairs. If you would like more information, or need to secure a Power of Attorney call Siebenga & King at 604-592-3550. Our helpful staff and professional team would be happy to serve you.