Power of AttorneyIn Ontario there are two kinds of powers of attorney: a continuing power of attorney for property and a power of attorney for personal care.
A Continuing Power of Attorney for Property allows a person (the "grantor") to give to another person (the "attorney"), the power to do anything on the grantor's behalf with respect to the financial matters of the grantor, whether the grantor is incapacitated or not. The only exception is that the attorney cannot make a new Will. Though the term "attorney" implies a lawyer, a lawyer need not be the attorney. The granting of the Continuing Power of Attorney for Property does not prevent the grantor from continuing to act for himself or herself.
A Power of Attorney for Personal Care, allows a person ("the grantor") to give to another person ("the attorney"), the power to make personal and medical decisions if the grantor is mentally incapacitated. The Power of Attorney for Personal Care can allow the grantor to direct (like a living Will) that life support systems not be used if there is no reasonable prospect of recovery.
What are the Duties of a Power of Attorney?
An attorney must act diligently and in good faith. An attorney is to explain to the incapable person what the attorney does and to encourage participation by the incapable person, as well as participation by family and friends. An attorney should foster contact with family and friends and to meet with them.
The attorney should follow the wishes of the incapable person that were expressed while capable.
We highly recommend a Power of Attorney. If you do not have one, a family member or friend will have to apply to the court to be appointed as "Guardian".
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