Powers of Attorney
Preparing a Power of Attorney enables you to appoint a trusted person to look after your affairs in the event you become mentally incapable due to accident or illness. It is also common to prepare a Power of Attorney if you will be out of the country for an extended period of time, or if you are a student moving away to attend a post secondary institution. This document allows your spouse, family member, friend, or legal representative to handle a variety of transactions on your behalf such as banking, vehicle or home insurance, utilities, property transfers and many others.
Powers of Attorney have changed significantly in the last couple of years and are now a more flexible document. You have the ability to appoint alternate attorneys who may act in the event your first choice is unable or unwilling. We can also customize paragraphs according to your circumstances and preferences as well as indicate restrictions within the document to limit certain transactions.
WHAT TO BRING TO THE APPOINTMENT
What will I need for my Will or Power of Attorney appointment*?
- Picture identification
- Full legal names and current addresses of anyone being mentioned in your Will/Power of Attorney (i.e. primary and alternate executors, beneficiaries, and attorneys)
- Copy of existing Will/Power of Attorney (if you have one)
- Copy of title or most recent Assessment (if you are a property owner)
*You will need 2 appointments with the notary. Please allow for an hour long appointment each visit. We find that, when discussing estate planning matters, most appointments take between 45 to 60 minutes.
The first appointment will be to gather the required information and answer any questions you may have. The notary will ask you a series of questions in order to tailor the document(s) to your specific needs. We then prepare the document(s), and the second appointment will be to review what we have prepared, make any changes if required, and complete the signing.
We advise you not to make unnecessary copies of your Power of Attorney (POA). Your POA is a legal document, and your Attorney will require the original in order to act for you. A copy is not sufficient. Any agency requiring a copy of your POA (e.g. your bank, insurance company, care home, etc.) can make their own copy from the original and return the original to you. We strongly advise that you not relinquish the original POA to anyone. If your POA gets misplaced you will need to complete a new one, and this may be difficult if you are travelling, incapacitated and/or deemed incapable of executing legal documents. Please keep your POA in a secure location, and advise your Attorney where is stored and how they can access it if they need it.
The best time to do a Power of Attorney is when you are healthy.