Power of Attorney

Power of Attorney in Richmond Hill and Toronto

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. You can include your spouse or relative, trusted friend or professional (i.e. a lawyer or accountant), or any capable adult as your attorney. After signing a Power of Attorney, your attorney will be able to:

  • do your day-to-day banking and sign cheques on your behalf
  • buy or sell real estate on your behalf
  • borrow money on your behalf
  • take on any other responsibilities listed in the Power of Attorney

Your attorney is legally obligated to act only in your interest and limits for their actions can be written in the POA. You can also have multiple attorneys listed in the POA. It is important to consider any conflicts between their actions given that they share access to your bank account and or other assets.

POAs are normally needed in one of the following two scenarios

1. 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.

2. Incapacity

If you are deemed to be incapable (i.e. unable to make decisions or to understand the consequences of said decisions), an attorney can act on your behalf and make decisions in your best interests. Examples of this include being in a coma, unconscious, or experiencing mental deficiencies due to old age or a health problem.

What Are the Different Types of POAs in Ontario?

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 a property/financial matters or personal care, and we also give you the option of making a single general POA that incorporates both of these types of POA in the same legal document.

Our lawyers specialize in all kinds of P.O.A.s, including ordinary and enduring (continuing), financial and general POAs.

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 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.

FAQs about Power of Attorney in Ontario

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 happens if you don’t have a Power of Attorney?

Your family may be forced to petition a court to be appointed as your legal guardian or conservator in order to gain the authority they need to care for you.

Do spouses automatically have power of attorney?

In Ontario, your spouse does not automatically have power of attorney over property that is solely registered under your name.

Who can override power of attorney?

As long as the principal (the person granting the power of attorney) is mentally competent and able to communicate, they are the only entity that can revoke a power of attorney. If they are no longer able to communicate, however, the power of attorney can be challenged by a third party.

How much does it cost to get a power of attorney in Ontario?

The legal fees of a power of attorney in Ontario are usually calculated based on the document you want to authorize to a lawyer. The price can range anywhere from $100 to $300 per document. Contact us directly for more details.

Contact Us Today!

Power of Attorney fees in Ontario vary depending on location and are case-specific. Seif Law offers quality and professional wills and Power of Attorney services. Our clients approach us from all over the GTA including Thornhill, Vaughan, Richmond Hill, Markham, Woodbridge, King City, Aurora, Newmarket & more. We will help you achieve your goals in a cost-effective way. If you are interested in retaining our legal services, please contact us today for a free, no-obligation quote on Power of Attorney services.