A Power of Attorney allows a capable adult to appoint a person or persons to handle their financial and legal matters while they are alive in the event they are unable to do so themselves or need assistance. The document also specifies whether these individuals are allowed to act separately or required to act together. Because of the financial authority conveyed, it is critical that the Adult fully understands what powers they are granting with this document and have complete trust in the person they are appointing.
It also allows the Adult to compensate their designated attorney for performing actions on their behalf.
This document has great value for anyone who:
- Owns property as joint tenants.
- Wants to ensure that a trusted person would take care of bill paying, correspondence and financial management in the event of incapacity or absence.
- May need assistance with their daily finances now or in the future.
- Wants to avoid the very lengthy and expensive process of a court appointed committee should they suddenly become incapable.
- Wants to avoid having the Public Guardian and Trustee take over his or her affairs.
Who can be my attorney?
The person who you appoint as your attorney should be someone who is prepared to accept the responsibility. The person must be 19 years or older, must be mentally capable and understand what it means to have power of attorney. You can appoint your spouse or partner, a friend or a family member. You can appoint more than one person. An attorney's authority starts from the moment the Power of Attorney is signed, not when a need arises so it is essential that the person be trustworthy. There are some precautions a person can take to prevent it being used while you are still able to look after your own affairs.