POWERS OF ATTORNEY OVERVIEW
A power of attorney for property is a document by which you (the “grantor”) authorize another individual (your “attorney”) to act on your behalf during your lifetime. There are two distinct types of power of attorney in Ontario: continuing powers of attorney for property (which may be general or limited); and powers of attorney for personal care (sometimes clients call these “living wills”). In Ontario, these powers must be granted in separate documents.
A Power of Attorney for Personal Care is a document in which you appoint someone to make decisions about and manage your assets on your behalf. A Power of Attorney for Property allows you to appoint someone to make decisions you may later become incapable of making for yourself about your person, including long term care decisions and decisions relating to medical care and consent to treatment.
If you have not signed powers of attorney while you are capable of doing so and you become mentally incapable, you will not be able to choose the person to make those decisions on your behalf. A family member or friend would need to make an application to the courts for guardianship. Sometimes (if, for instance, you are found to be incapable after a capacity assessment) the Public Guardian and Trustee may become your statutory guardian until someone else applies to take over that guardianship.
Powers of Attorney are recommended tools in every estate plan. Powers of Attorney are recommended tools in every estate plan. At Berry Gage LLP, we can help you prepare proper Powers of Attorney that meet your unique needs and circumstances.