A Power of Attorney (also known more simply as a “POA”) is a legal document that gives someone else (ie. an “Attorney”) the right to act on your behalf and make certain decisions for you. POAs are normally needed in one of the following two scenarios:
- Unavailability: If you are going to be out of town or in a different country for an indefinite period of time, you may need someone to act as your Attorney on a real estate transaction or other financial/property matters and sign documents on your behalf.
- Incapacity: If you are deemed to be incapable (generally speaking, you are unable to make decisions or to understand the consequences of your decisions), you may need someone to act as your Attorney and make decisions in your best interests. For example, you could be in a coma and unconscious, or you could experience mental deficiencies due to old age.
What is The Difference Between a POA and a Will?
While a Will applies after your death (and explains your wishes with respect to distributing the assets of your estate), a POA applies while you are still alive but are either unavailable or incapable as described above.
What Are the Different Types of POAs?
There are generally two different types of POAs:
- Power of Attorney for Property/Financial Matters: Such POAs may be used when individuals want their Attorney to be authorized to sign documents for buying, selling, or refinancing property on their behalf, to sign personal cheques on their behalf, and/or deal with other property on their behalf such as stocks, mutual funds, bonds etc.
- Power of Attorney for Personal Care: This type of POA covers one’s personal decisions, such as those related to housing or health care. For example, someone may want to authorize their Attorney to hire nurses and keep them in their residence for as long as their medical condition will allow, or they may want their Attorney to be authorized to remove them off life support devices if their medical condition takes a turn for the worse.
At Seif Law Firm, we give you the option of making a POA for either property/financial matters or personal care, and we also give you the option of making a single general POA that incorporates both of these of types of POA in the same legal document.
Protection at a Minimal Cost
In order to sign a POA, one must be capable. If you wait until issues of incapacity and/or health problems develop that prevent you from signing a POA, it will be a very costly and a time-consuming process to install a substitute decision-maker (such as a court-appointed Guardian of Property or Guardian of the Person). Also, it may cause additional stress and hardship for your loved ones as they try to help you navigate your property/financial matters and personal care decisions while you are incapable.
Contact Us Today!
If you are interested in retaining our legal services, please contact us today for a free, no-obligation quote for your Power(s) of Attorney.