A Power of Attorney is a legally binding document that authorizes someone else to make financial and legal decisions on your behalf if you become unable to do so yourself. This can occur due to various reasons, such as an accident or illness. By having a Power of Attorney, you can ensure that someone you trust is able to make important decisions for you and manage your affairs if you are unable to do so.
The cost of a power of attorney document can vary depending on several factors, including the type of power of attorney, the complexity of the document, and the province or territory where it is being created. In general, a simple power of attorney document can cost anywhere from $50 to $200, while a more complex document that requires legal assistance may cost several hundred dollars or more. In some provinces or territories, there may be additional fees for notarization or registration with a government agency.
It is important to work with a qualified lawyer in your province or territory to create a power of attorney document that meets your specific needs and complies with the laws of your jurisdiction. They can provide you with an estimate of the costs involved and help ensure that the document is legally enforceable.
Yes, there are different types of Power of Attorney available in Ontario, Canada. Specifically, there are three kinds of Power of Attorney that can be created:
- Continuing Power of Attorney for Property (CPOA) – This type of Power of Attorney covers your financial affairs and allows the person you name to make decisions on your behalf, even if you become mentally incapable.
- Non-Continuing Power of Attorney for Property – This type of Power of Attorney also covers your financial affairs but cannot be used if you become mentally incapable. It may be used in situations where you need someone to manage your financial transactions while you are away from home for an extended period of time.
- Power of Attorney for Personal Care (POAPC) – This type of Power of Attorney covers your personal decisions, such as those related to housing and healthcare. It allows the person you name to make decisions on your behalf if you become mentally incapable or are otherwise unable to make decisions for yourself.
It is not compulsory to create a Power of Attorney, as it is a voluntary decision and cannot be imposed on anyone.
The effectiveness of a Power of Attorney outside of Ontario relies on the laws of the specific jurisdiction where it will be used. If you plan to relocate or be absent from the province for an extended period, it may be advisable to consult a local attorney to determine if creating new documents is necessary.
While it’s not mandatory to utilize a lawyer’s services for making a Power of Attorney, it may be beneficial to consider hiring one, especially if your affairs are complex. Most of the banks prefer lawyer’s signature as witness, though it’s not mandatory, depending on the transactions to be done using the POA.
A Power of Attorney document can be drafted by your lawyer or purchased in the form of pre-made templates available at bookstores or on the Internet.
Granting Power of Attorney to a person confers the right to make decisions on behalf of the person giving the right. Once a person receives a power of attorney, they are also known as substitute decision-makers. Power of Attorney Lawyer can help in many ways.
They become responsible for handling the complete financial affairs of the person who is not capable of doing that on their own (Grantor). The attorney is appointed by the Grantor before they lose their decision-making capacity.
Though a Power of Attorney is a useful tool to reduce potential conflict, it can also give rise to newer disputes.
Power of Attorney for Property
Power of attorney can be made for two different matters- for property and personal care. In Ontario, the Substitute Decisions Act outlines the scope of duties and obligations of an attorney who holds a power of attorney for personal care and property.
In the case of Property, the decisions of the Power of attorney holder can be many including but not limited to managing the grantor’s investments and income consistently, making timely bill payments, doing their budgeting, etc. It can also include making decisions about the place of residence and the living expenses of the grantor.
Personal care decisions can be made on matters such as food, clothing, shelter, or personal hygiene. As per law, only certain persons can be appointed as personal care attorneys including the partner, relative, or grantor’s spouse.
Understanding When a Power of Attorney Comes into Effect
A power of attorney can come into effect in different circumstances. It may come into effect immediately upon its creation and subsequent to drafting or it may become active once a medical professional deems the grantor to lack mental capacity.
Once a grantor is incapable of making decisions on their care and property matters, tests may be needed to confirm the incapacity. The testing process will require the support of an experienced Estate lawyer in addition to a knowledgeable gerontologist or capacity assessor.
Many times, a power of attorney does not take effect immediately which is the prime reason that it is known as a Continuing Power of Attorney in Ontario.
It is also important to note that the power of attorney legislation is different in all Canadian provinces. If you own property in multiple provinces, travel often, or live in a separate province from the province of property ownership, a power of attorney will need to be drafted carefully.
Power of Attorney Disputes
At the time of drafting the Power of Attorney, the grantor is made responsible for taking care of the financial and health needs of their loved one. In few circumstances, the attorney may neglect the grantor’s interests or end up depleting their wealth. They may not completely understand the roles and obligations of being an attorney.
The reasons for Power of Attorney disputes can be many starting with identifying the final attorney when the grantor may have named multiple people as an attorney in their life. The mental capacity of the grantor to grant the attorney may be another reason for the dispute. If the grantor does not agree with the decisions made by the attorney, they may choose to revoke the Power of Attorney.
How We Can Help
At Nanda & Associate Lawyers, our experienced Power of Attorney Lawyer understand your specific circumstances and provide you with cost-effective and customized estate planning solutions for each of them. We can support you to understand the responsibilities and duties of being granted a power of attorney or draft one as per provincial regulations to safeguard your and your loved one’s interests.
Our Mississauga Wills and Estate Lawyers are available for an initial consultation. Come and experience our quality legal counsel and personalized care we give to each client. Our Power of Attorney Lawyer ensures prompt communication and a professional approach to achieve successful outcomes for you.
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