POAs or Power of Attorney documents are considered legal documents where you are considered the principal, and you designate someone else (known as attorney-in-fact or agent) for acting on your behalf. This means that you are giving them the power to make decisions about issues on your part. This may include issues such as financial transactions. Although a power of attorney may be restricting for some, it is lifelong and encompasses most things. Senior citizens are benefitted the most by legal documentations such as the POA. This is because old age is linked with ailments and illness, and you may not be able to handle matters on your own when you reach that phase, so POA’s come into play.
How does the power of attorney work?
Certain situations must always be considered when it comes to POA’s. For example, a person in the military can create a power of attorney right before they leave for overseas, so that another person acquainted with them can make decisions in their place concerning their health in the future. This may not be the only reason that someone can make use of a POA. Even people that seem to do a lot of traveling in their lives regularly make use of this document and select someone as the agent to fill out items in their absence for the time being. In most cases, a spouse can be a good selection for appointing an agent. In addition to making decisions on behalf of the principal, other powers that are given to an agent include selling of property/assets for medical expenses and the payment of bills, decision-making when it comes to real estate, handling the retirement, or government benefits, etc.
However, the main area associated with power of attorney remains to be the senior citizens who are more prone to long term ailments/illnesses.
What are the benefits associated with a power of attorney?
- You are In safe hands: When you work with our attorneys, you do not need to worry about misuse of any kind since the attorneys are bound to the law as they are in charge of handling your assets and capital. You are the one who is really in control of the situation as the grantor. Before finalizing anything or going forward with a decision, the grantor’s approval is a must. Even the law is on the side of the grantor in case the assigned agent ends up taking advantage of the power assigned to them. This is done by the establishment of extensive litigation. The power of attorney or POA can be used as effective evidence by the grantor in the court when an agent turns out to be fraudulent in their intentions.
- You are the one in power: You are the full authority of how things should occur – you decide who the agent or attorney should be in the process. However, you should be cautious when choosing and picking the one who is the most trustworthy. There is no such limitation that you can assign just one attorney for the POA. You can choose multiple ones, in fact. You also have the option of appointing successive attorneys or alternative ones, and also whether they should collectively make decisions or jointly. As a grantor, you can also direct them to act separately on their own in case one of them is out of reach.
- You can live on without worries: We all know that there is no guarantee to our lives. We never will know the exact time or duration that we will get to live. Whether or not we will be affected by a health crisis or some calamity, this is why it is always better to be prepared beforehand, so that later on, you don’t get the chance to regret your actions. By choosing to make a power of attorney, you are only putting yourself in a state of peace, not to mention that it is also the best option for securing your family’s safety, even after you are gone.
What will happen If I do not have a power of attorney?
For securing the safety of your property, real & financial estate interests, and even your health, a power of attorney may prove to be essential. In case you do not have a POA by your side after your death, your family will be the one to suffer the most blows. These blows would be related to delay in asset management/ownership and inheritance as such. To add to it, the cost for the transfer of assets would prove to be too much for them to bear. To avoid conflicts like these, you should be well-prepared for the future now. It is still not too late. You can contact our experienced Brampton Wills, Estates & Trust Lawyer.
Another important point to keep in mind is that your family cannot issue a POA for themselves after you have passed away. It has to be done when you are alive and well, which is all the more reason why you should think about getting a power of attorney.
Does my will count as a power of attorney?
No. Strictly speaking, your will is not to be considered as a substitute for a POA. You can issue a health care POA along with a living will. Although quite similar, these are two separate matters that must not be mixed at any cost. A will has more to do with the distribution and assignment of your assets after your death; however, the same cannot be said for a POA. A POA mostly revolves around the sound decisions you make while alive. In the same way, a living will have little to nothing to do with the payment of bills, real estate brainstorming, or decision-making other than the ones by the owner. Medical situations like blood transfusions and dialysis are more likely to be associated with a healthcare power of attorney than a living will. This is why a will must never be considered as a substitute for a power of attorney and vice versa.