Powers of Attorney

A Power of Attorney can be granted to one or more people you select to make decisions on your behalf regarding your personal care or your property and financial affairs. As part of your estate planning, we will help you address all the pertinent issues so your designated representatives can act with confidence in carrying out your wishes and acting in your best interes

There are several important considerations when selecting your Power of Attorneys including the selection of the right individual(s) and establishing the scope of their powers. 

What is a Power of Attorney?

A Power of Attorney allows a person (the grantor) to give to another person (the attorney) the power to make certain decisions on behalf of the grantor.  Though the term “attorney” implies a lawyer, a lawyer need not be the attorney.  A Power of Attorney does not prevent the grantor from continuing to act for him or herself if he or she wishes. 
Changes in the law will now allow for two types of Powers of Attorney.  “The Continuing Power of Attorney for Property,” like the older Power of Attorney, may deal with financial matters before and after a person is mentally incapacitated.  This Power of Attorney will allow the attorney to do on a grantor’s behalf anything with respect to any type of asset that the grantor could do if capable except make a will. 
“The Power of Attorney for Personal Care” (referred to as a “Living Will”) may deal with personal and medical decisions if one is mentally incapacitated.  The Personal Care Power of attorney may also have specific instructions regarding matters there is no reasonable prospect of recovery.

Why have a power of attorney?

As the Ontario Government’s marketing slogan for promoting Powers of Attorney states “You Decide Who Decides”, Powers of Attorney allow one to appoint a designated individual or individuals to make the financial and now personal decisions that have to be made if that person becomes mentally incompetent and can not manage their personal affairs.  Without Powers of Attorney either the government or a person you would not have chosen may be appointed to make those decisions.
The Powers of Attorney allow one to make specific directions about finances, accommodations, and health issues including the important life support decisions.  Without Powers of Attorney perhaps different decisions may be made on your behalf.

Personal Care

Should you become incapacitated, your designated Attorney for personal care will be authorized to make decisions on your behalf regarding your personal care. These decisions can include issues such as your healthcare, nutrition and safety. Often referred to as a living will, your Attorney for personal care can also provide a legal binding direction to medical staff should ‘heroic’ efforts be required in life threatening circumstances.


A power of Attorney for property provides one or more people with the authority to make decisions on your behalf regarding all your financial affairs. This is particularly important should you become incapacitated. However, it can also be used at any time, regardless of your capacity, should you require someone to manage your finances. This is often used by people who travel regularly for extended periods. Naturally, great care must be taken when selecting an Attorney for property to ensure your assets are managed appropriately.

To speak with one of our estate planning lawyers about creating powers of attorney to act on your beheld, please contact us.


Meet Your Powers of Attorney Team

If you would like to discuss the benefits of establishing Powers of Attorney for your personal care and property, we’d be pleased to discuss with you the options and considerations for your needs.

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