Powers of Attorney Lawyers in Ottawa, Ontario

Power of Attorney for Personal Care

This is very similar to a Continuing Power of Attorney, but this one is specific to personal care, which includes safety, nutrition, shelter, hygiene, etc. Under the Ontario Health Care Consent Act, 1996, this Power of Attorney is second only to the Guardian of the Person. The Grantor can only give a Power of Attorney for Personal Care if he or she understands the impact of allowing another person the decision-making power. It may contain provisions for one or more representatives and for alternates. This Power of Attorney for Personal Care can be revoked at any time, as long as the Grantor is capable of making that decision.

If there is no Power of Attorney for Personal Care and a person becomes unable to manage on their own, a court order can be issued.

Certainly, there are benefits to this document:

  • Selection of the person or persons to take care of them

  • Imposing any restrictions

  • Saving time and money by not going through the court system

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Power of Attorney Property

A Power of Attorney is a legal document where a person (“Grantor”) authorizes another person (“Attorney”) to manage the property. A Power of Attorney is usually activated in the event you are unable to manage your own affairs due to physical or mental issues.

Under the Ontario Substitute Decisions Act, 1992, a continuing Power of Attorney must describe itself as “continuing” and expressly state the intention is to use the power during the Grantor’s incapacity. If it does not specify “continuing,” the document becomes void.

Through this Continuing Power of Attorney, you can appoint one or more attorneys and one or more alternates. Alternates are in case the original attorney is not willing or is unable to perform the duties. If there are multiple attorneys, each one should have specific and designated authority and know how the decisions are to be made. Sometimes a person becomes incapacitated but has not executed a Continuing Power of Attorney. Then someone, usually a close relative, applies to the Court system for that authority.

The Attorney appointed under the Continuing Power of Attorney is under the legal duty to only act in the best interests of the Grantor, to account to the Grantor, act with reasonable care, must not act in conflict with the grantor or his/her wishes, and must not make secret profits. All of this combined is referred to as a fiduciary responsibility.

There are certainly advantages for someone to create a Continuing Power of Attorney:

  • The Grantor chooses who they want for the attorney and any substitutes

  • Restrictions can be issued, such as only dealing with certain items or how to handle specific properties

  • Stating when the Continuing Power of Attorney becomes effective

  • Avoiding the hassle, time, and expense of going to court to appoint a Power of Attorney