A Power of Attorney is an important and useful document where you can appoint others to make decisions on your behalf. In Ontario, there are two types of powers of attorney for two different circumstances. It is advisable to do both types so that you are covered in any situation. When doing both types at one time, we are pleased to offer a considerable discount. There are further discounts available if you opt to do your Will at the same time and also if you and your spouse receive mirror Wills.
A Continuing Power of Attorney allows the person or persons you appoint to manage all of your financial affairs. The Substitute Decisions Act (Ontario) allows this type of power of attorney to “continue” to operate even if you become incapable. It can also be used when you are fully capable if you supply the document to the person you have appointed.
NOTE: There is also a Specific Power of Attorney that we can draft in situations where you only want to give an individual temporary or limited powers (for instance, if you are leaving the country for some time and need someone to look after your financial and legal affairs).
A Power of Attorney for Personal Care (sometimes referred to as a ‘living will’) allows the person(s) you appoint to make health care decisions for you based on your previous instructions. This type of power of attorney only operates if you are incapable of making decisions for yourself. In other words, if you are able to make your own health care decisions, you will be the one making those decisions.
You can set out broad or detailed instructions in your Power of Attorney for Personal Care relating to what types of treatment or measures your attorney(s) may authorize, whether or not you wish to be placed in an institution, etc.
For more information and frequently asked questions on powers of attorney, see the Ontario Public Guardian and Trustee publication found here.