Before The Unexpected Happens, You Can Protect Your Money While You’re Alive – Part 2

Read Part 1 of this post here.

Your attorney is a person you name in a power of attorney document as your substitute decision maker for property. Your attorney is not a lawyer.

The term attorney refers to the person who is your agent. You are the grantor when you authorize someone to act for you. The substitute decision maker is referred to as your attorney or agent.

Restrictions in Your Continuing Powers of Attorney for Property (CPOAP)

Subject to any restrictions or conditions contained in your CPOAP, your attorney may be able to do anything that you can do.

You grant your CPOAP by signing a legal document. You need two qualified witnesses. You can specify what powers you give to your attorney.

You can limit your attorney, for example, to only sell real estate and invest the proceeds or manage all your financial affairs. When you sign your CPOAP, you authorize your attorney to act even if you lose your mental capacity. Any restrictions are described in the document when you sign it.

Attorneys Cannot Change Your Will

Attorneys cannot make or change your will. This includes changing your testamentary dispositions, like who gets your designated assets. These assets have designated beneficiaries. They include registered investments, life insurance and TFSAs. Your attorney may have authority until you die when your will becomes effective. This can be for several years and they are entitled to be compensated unless the CPOAC prohibits this.

If you become incapable, your attorney does have a duty to locate your will. Attorneys must manage your affairs to protect you and your specific gifts of property in your will.

Revoking Your CPOAP

You may revoke CPOAPs if you still have the mental capacity do so. What if you become incapable? The CPOAP continues to authorize your attorney act until they are removed by court, or until you can revoke the CPOAP.

If you are incapable, revoking a CPOAP by court order is difficult. Your named attorney must be guilty of misconduct.

Sign up to receive my blog posts and read my next post on CPOAP, Part 3. Read Part 1 here.

Protect your money and family if you become incapable. Make sure you have a valid will and powerful powers of attorney.

If you need help with powers of attorney, arrange a meeting now.

Estate law is all I do.

Ed Olkovich