Before the Unexpected Happens, You Can Protect Your Money While You’re Alive – Part 3

Read Part 1 and Part 2.

Your choice of attorney for property is personal. Everyone has different options and needs. That is why you benefit from legal advice to help make the right choice. You can expect trouble if you make the wrong choice. Much depends on your marital status and relatives who live near you. But you should know your options.

You must choose wisely. Attorneys do not act under any scrutiny. Choose persons who are honest and trustworthy.

Ontario legislation allows persons to sign continuing powers of attorney for property (CPOAPs) even if they are incapable of managing property when they sign (see section 9(1), Substitute Decisions Act, 1992, S.O. 1992).

More Than One Attorney

In some cases, you may want multiple attorneys. You can make your attorneys joint and several. This terminology is old fashioned. This means that they can act together or individually if they wish. Those are the words I use in power of attorney documents I prepare. That way, you can understand what you sign.

Having more than two named attorneys may not be efficient. Discuss the pros and cons with your lawyer.

Avoid a Court Appointed Guardianship

You sign a CPOAP document in case you suddenly become incapacitated. This is an alternative to costly court proceedings to setting up a guardianship.

If you own a house, business or sizeable investments, you should obtain legal advice about your CPOAP options.

Bank or investment powers of attorney are limited only to use with each financial institution. They will not work on all your money or assets.

It is not usual for you to appoint your spouse or family as your attorney for property. This can be a general CPOAP or a limited CPOAP. You must name an alternative attorney in case your first choice is unable, is incapable or has a conflict of interest.

Sign CPOPAs Before It’s Too Late

Remember, what happens if you do not have a signed power of attorney for property document. The government can take over the management of your affairs if you are mentally incapable. This guardianship appointment can take months in court and cost thousands of dollars.

Capacity Assessments

If your capacity is in doubt or you have difficulty understanding any of the matters, it may be necessary to undergo a capacity assessment. Assessments are done by independent and impartial assessors who are trained. They are not government employees.

Do you have questions about power of attorney documents? Call for a meeting. I look forward to hearing from you.

Estate law is all I do. Contact me now.

Ed Olkovich