Powers of Attorney

A power of attorney is a legal document that allows you to designate a person to make decisions on your behalf. Often a power of attorney is prepared in anticipation of when you are unable to make decisions on your own behalf during your life (unlike the authority granted under a last will and testament).

Powers of attorney are valuable tools in planning for your future in that they allow you to choose who will be making your important decisions for you and under what circumstances. If you have not appointed an attorney when one is required, Ontario's statutory scheme will eventually designate someone to take responsibility. However, there is no guarantee that the appointed decision maker will be someone you trust.

Generally there are two kinds of powers of attorney depending on the types of issues that they address:

  • A power of attorney for property allows your appointed attorney to make decisions regarding your property excluding your last will and testament. It may be continuing or non-continuing. That is, you may grant this authority to take effect immediately and without limiting conditions or you may specify conditions such as how long it is effective, or when it becomes effective, or even that it is only effective for one particular purpose such as selling your home while you are out of the country.
  • A power of attorney for personal care allows your attorney to make personal care and health decisions on your behalf such as where you live, what you eat, or what medical care you will receive. Unlike a continuing power of attorney for property, for example, a power of attorney for personal care is only effective when you are unable to make decisions for yourself.

Jebreen & Walsh LLP recommends that you consider your Powers of Attorney at the same time as your will. Click here [http://www.attorneygeneral.jus.gov.on.ca/english/family/pgt/livingwillqa.pdf] to view the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee’s frequently asked questions and answers regarding powers of attorney.  You will note that we have grouped the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee’s three kinds of powers of attorney into the two kinds noted above.

Call our firm to schedule an appointment to get your will and powers of attorney.