At Sodagar & Company we understand that life is busy and you may not always be accessible. Providing a trusted one with a power of attorney allows them authorization to act on your behalf in a number of circumstances relating to your affairs, business, and legal matters (not all). The individual acting on your behalf, while referred to as your “attorney” does not need to be a lawyer.
Some simple examples of when a power of attorney may be beneficial are:
- If you are leaving town for an extended period of time
- If you own a business and are anxious about its operations if you’re absent
- If you have a medical condition which may impact your mental capacity (more commonly referred to as a representation agreement).
There are two types of powers of attorney available to you and commonly used. A general power of attorney will be granted authority over your finances and property within Canada only while you are mentally capable of handling your own affairs. This type of power of attorney will end when you become mentally incapable of managing your own affairs. A commonly asked question is if the attorney needs to be granted power over all of one’s affairs or if it can it be limited to specific affairs? The power of attorney can be either specific or limited which means they do not necessarily have to cover all of your affairs. For example, if you are looking to sell your house and want to grant your attorney power to deal with the sale for a short period of time, this is possible. The second type of power of attorney is an enduring or continuing power of attorney. This allows your attorney to continue to act on your behalf if you become mentally incapable of managing your affairs. As long as you are mentally capable, even if you have granted a power of attorney to another, you can continue to make your own decisions in regards to your affairs.
It is possible to grant someone authority to make health and non-financial decisions on your behalf if you were ever to become mentally incapacitated and unable to make the decisions yourself. Representation agreements between you and a trusted individual allow them to make these decisions on your behalf, should the need ever arise. Our lawyers at Sodagar and Company can facilitate this process between you and your attorney ensuring that the right amount of authority is provided to the attorney of your choosing and for the right reasons.