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Power of Attorney

Who will decide for you? Will it be the Courts or……

Most times people ensure that they have a will in place but neglect to consider the possibility of being unable to manage their personal affairs while they are still alive. They could be temporarily or permanently incapacitated due to illness or an accident. A power of attorney can be written to manage an individual’s affair in such a situation. This would however need to be done when the individual is mentally capable.

A power of attorney is a legal document. There are two different types; if it deals with personal and health care it is referred to as power of attorney for personal care. If it instead, deals with financial matters, it is referred to as power of attorney for property.

Power of attorney for personal care – Depending on the province, it may also be known as a living will, a mandate or a health-care directive. Creating a power of attorney for personal care allows you to express your wishes as to how you should be treated in the event you become incapacitated. It can be used to outline your wishes regarding life support, pain management in the event of terminal illness etc. Without it, delays in medical and life saving emergency treatments may be experienced; and the courts may have the final decision as to the type of care that should be administered.

Power of attorney for property – With its creation, you empower someone to make legal and financial decision on your behalf. It may be temporary or indefinite, it can also be limited to specific activities or assets – a limited power of attorney – or it can provide wide-ranging control over your financial affairs – a general power of attorney. It can be effective upon signing or it can be conditional to a specified event or circumstances.

By creating an enduring power of attorney, your affairs can continue to be managed even if you are mentally incapacitated, without the intervention or supervisions of the courts. A “normal” power of attorney would be invalid if you become mentally incapacitated, which would be the time that it is most needed! Most if not all provinces have introduced enduring power of attorney legislation. In all cases the authority provided by this document ends with death.

Please note – This is not legal advice. Like your will, your power of attorney should be prepared with professional advice – consider having both done at the same time.

Please contact us and we would be happy to discuss power of attorney in more detail with you.

The opinions expressed within this article/communication are those of the Financial Advisor and are not necessarily those of Keybase Financial Group Inc. Any data provided is for illustration purposes only. Clients and prospective clients should always read a product prospectus and fully understand all of the risks associated with the product before purchasing. Any information relating to the discussion of taxation issues is considered to be only general in nature. Clients should seek a qualified tax professional to discuss their specific tax requirements.

Keybase Financial Group Inc. is a member of the MFDA and is a member of the MFDA IPC.