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How to Establish and Revoke a Power of Attorney – Advice From a Wills and Estate Lawyer

Advice from a wills and estate lawyer: A Power of Attorney (POA) in Canada is an essential legal tool that allows individuals to designate someone to make crucial decisions on their behalf. Appointing a POA can be necessary in a plethora of scenarios. Some examples include (but are not limited to):

  • Incapacity or illness;
  • Business management;
  • Real estate transactions;
  • Estate planning; or
  • Elderly individuals who want to ensure their wishes are respected

Although these are just a few reasons a person might appoint POA, everyone has a unique situation. However, establishing and revoking a POA is the first step to understanding if it’s your right choice.

Understanding Power of Attorney

A Power of Attorney is a legal document that grants an individual or organization the authority to act on your behalf in specific financial and legal matters. It’s crucial to comprehend the different types of Powers of Attorney available in Canada:

General Power of Attorney

A General Power of Attorney grants broad authority to your chosen agent to make financial and legal decisions on your behalf. However, it’s essential to understand that it becomes invalid if the grantor (the person who gives the power) becomes incapacitated.

Enduring Power of Attorney

Unlike the General Power of Attorney, an Enduring Power of Attorney remains valid even if the grantor becomes mentally or physically incapable. This type is particularly useful for long-term financial planning.

Limited or Specific Power of Attorney

A Limited or Specific Power of Attorney is limited to specific tasks or periods. For example, you may grant someone the authority to manage your finances while you’re on an extended vacation.

Establishing a Power of Attorney

Establishing a Power of Attorney is a straightforward process in Canada. Here’s how you can go about it:

Choose Your Agent: Select a trusted individual or organization to act as your agent. Ensure they are willing to take on this responsibility.

Create the Document: Draft a Power of Attorney document specifying the powers and limitations you wish to grant your agent. It’s recommended to seek legal advice to ensure the document complies with Canadian law.

Signing and Witnessing: Sign the document in the presence of a notary public or a lawyer. Your chosen agent and witnesses must also sign.

Registering the Document: Some provinces in Canada require the registration of Power of Attorney documents. Check the specific requirements in your province.

Inform Relevant Parties: Notify your financial institutions, healthcare providers, and any other relevant parties about the existence of the Power of Attorney.

Revoking a Power of Attorney

Revoking a Power of Attorney is equally important as establishing it. You may need to revoke it for various reasons, such as a change in your relationship with the agent or their inability to fulfill their duties. Here’s how to do it:

Draft a Revocation Document: Create a legal document that explicitly states the revocation of the Power of Attorney. Consult a lawyer to ensure its legality.

Notify Your Agent: Inform your agent in writing that their authority has been revoked. It’s crucial to maintain open communication during this process.

Notify Relevant Parties: Just as with establishing a Power of Attorney, inform financial institutions and other relevant parties about the revocation.

Destroy the Original Document: Safely destroy the original Power of Attorney document to prevent any future confusion.

A POA is a valuable legal tool for Canadians to plan for their financial and legal future. When establishing or revoking a Power of Attorney, it’s essential to follow the correct legal procedures and consult with a wills and estate lawyer to ensure everything is in order.

Contact the Kelly D. Jordan Family Law Office – Your Wills and Estate Lawyer

Bringing more than twenty-five years of expertise to the forefront of Ontario’s family law landscape, Kelly Jordan and her accomplished family law team possess an extensive understanding of the intricacies of family law. Their profound insights into the legal system empower them to offer innovative and resourceful legal strategies to address your family law issues effectively.

Whether you are considering appointing power of attorney to someone in your life or wanting to revoke the agreement, our dedicated team is readily available to provide you with the guidance and support you require. You can connect with us conveniently through our online channels, or feel free to reach our Toronto offices directly at 416-849-5501.

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