There is no gain in delaying the preparation of both your will and powers of attorney done.  Rather, you have potentially everything to lose by not getting these documents done as soon as possible.

In general terms, estate planning gives you the security of knowing that your wishes will be respected.  Through your recorded decisions there will be people you name to be responsible to address your wishes.  As such, you should assign the matters of your personal care and finances while you are capable to person(s) you choose on the terms you want.  These concerns can be answered through documents called Powers of Attorney, distinguishing between (i) personal care and (ii) property management decisions.

A power of attorney is a document that establishes evidence of a person’s (the grantor) authority during one’s lifetime to give another person the right to act on behalf of the grantor.

A power of attorney is an essential tool in estate planning.  It gives the grantor control over decisions related to property or personal care once incapable, and avoids uncertainty as to the intentions of the grantor which can lead to an unnecessary family or other disputes.

There are two categories of a power of attorney.  The first relates to property management and it is referred to as a Continuing Power of Attorney.  It can be limited in time or tied to a particular asset.  For example, one may grant a power of attorney with respect to real estate transactions where the grantor is out of the country on closing day.  On the other end of the spectrum, a power of attorney can be all encompassing, enabling the agent to deal with all of a grantor’s assets.

The second category concerns decisions relating to health care, nutrition, shelter, clothing, hygiene and safety and is referred to as a Power of Attorney for Personal Care.  Similar to a Continuing Power of Attorney, this instrument can be limited in scope or cover all substitute decisions relating to an individual’s personal care.

In both types of power of attorneys, the grantor may appoint one or more attorneys and may dictate when the power of attorney is to take effect.  This date may be specified in the document itself, determined by a physician or capacity assessor, or take effect immediately.  In Ontario, an individual must be 18 years or older to grant a Continuing Power of Attorney, whereas a Power of Attorney for Personal Care may be granted by individuals 16 years or older.  Once executed, a power of attorney may only be revoked if the grantor has capacity.  The standard for capacity differs depending on whether the power of attorney relates to property or personal care.

*Disclaimer:  The information provided in this article is NOT legal advice but fundamental information to be further inquired upon professionally.  You should always consult with a qualified lawyer to obtain proper advice.

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Evelyn Burnette
Evelyn Burnette
06:08 12 Mar 18
We have a family business and one day we found ourselves in a legal situation in which we felt completely overwhelmed and helpless. We quickly realized there’s a whole different world out there that we know nothing about. Reached out to David and he quickly wrapped himself around our case. We know he was working around the clock. In a matter of days, we had a solid argument. He is sharp, candid and a true professional. Not sure how an attorney can help a client ANY better. Absolutely no hesitation recommending him.
Julia Austerlitz
Julia Austerlitz
00:15 10 Mar 18
When I was looking for a divorce lawyer, the most important thing to me was finding someone who would be easy to communicate with. I was anticipating a nasty custody battle and the last thing I wanted was a lawyer who was hard to get a hold of or who didn’t make me feel like my case was a priority. David Costa and Robin Mann were exactly what I was looking for. They responded quickly to all of my emails, took all of my concerns very seriously and above all, is very knowledgeable about family law. This was such a difficult phase of my life and they helped me to get through to the end of it with the best possible outcome. I highly recommend this law firm.
Ben Valencia
Ben Valencia
12:47 09 Mar 18
Mr. Costa and his wonderful assistant couldn't have been anymore professional. It's unfortunate I had to meet them under these circumstances but I wouldn't have chosen anyone different to represent me if I could. They’ve always kept me up to date on things I needed to get done and both were available when I had questions. They are first class in my book.
Daniel Hardison
Daniel Hardison
06:56 09 Mar 18
Have utilized David's services several times over the last five years. He always is quick to respond (even when he was on vacation), knows the real estate business inside out. His expertise always gives me the confidence the deal is done right.
Kate Miller
Kate Miller
20:08 13 Dec 17
Costa Law were a tremendous help in solving my legal issues. David and his team were professional, efficient, thorough and compassionate. Everyone involved capably assisted me in understanding the issues and the possible outcomes. I could not be happier with the results and would encourage anyone needing legal help to contact them. Best law group in the town. Thanks to everyone at Costa Law!!!
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