Canada Power of Attorney

Before you create your Canada Power of Attorney documents, take a few minutes and learn some of the terms you will need to use. Powers of attorney can be a part of your estate plan and they can be a part of your daily life.

A power of attorney is a way of granting powers to another person allowing them to act on your behalf. The person you grant these powers to is called an "attorney". In a Canada power of attorney the use of the word attorney does not mean a lawyer. The attorney can be anyone you choose to grant powers to.

There are two basic types of Canada powers of attorney. There is a power of attorney for property and a power of attorney for personal care.

The Canada POA for property enables your attorney to manage your finances. In this document you can limit the power given, other wise your attorney will be able to sell your property, manage your bank accounts, sign your checks and many other financial activities that might require your signature.

A general property power of attorney is automatically void if you ever become mentally incompetent. To make this document a useful tool in your estate plan it should be a continuing property power of attorney. This one stays effective should a doctor ever declare you mentally unsound.

For you estate planning purposes your power of attorney for personal care should be a continuing document also. This Canada continuing power of attorney for personal care would allow your attorney to oversee all of your health care needs, without court, or other family members, interference.

A Canada power of attorney is normally effective upon you signature and those of your witnesses. It is possible, however, to state in the document a specific time or a specific event at which the power of attorney will become effective. It is common to want your powers of attorney to be effective only if a doctor declares you mentally incompetent. This just needs to be written into the document.

It is advisable to name a substitute attorney in your documents in case your first choice cannot be located. No power will be granted the alternative unless your first choice cannot be located, or refuses to accept the power. Joint attorneys can also be appointed if you would prefer two people making decisions for you. In this case they would have to agree on everything and both signatures would be required on all legal documents.

Canada power of attorney forms are published by the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee and they can be downloaded here.

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