Wills and Estates: Power of Attorney
Many people who visit a notary public in Vancouver make the wise decision to have a power of attorney, drafted, which will allow a close friend or family member to assist you in a time of need.
Powers of Attorney are very useful documents to have, but they can only be created while all parties involved are mentally capable of understanding and signing this legal document. That means you should not wait until there is a health emergency to get this document prepared!
What is a power of attorney?
When working with power of attorney, the “donor” appoints an “attorney” to manage their legal and financial affairs. In this case, the word “attorney” does not refer to your lawyer, but to the person(s) you appoint.
This is useful if the donor has an illness or injury that makes it difficult to manage their affairs, or is simply away for long periods of time (for a nice vacation, perhaps). This document is also useful as a pre-emptive measure, in case the donor becomes ill and unable to manage their affairs in the future.
What is the difference between a power of attorney and a will?
While a “power of attorney” may be a foreign phrase to many people, a “will” is more universally known. There are a couple of differences between a power of attorney and a will.
A power of attorney document allows you to appoint one or more individuals as “attorneys” who will be able to manage your financial and legal affairs.
A will allows you to appoint one more “executors” to handle your estate according to your wishes, upon your death.
Ultimately, a power of attorney document is generally in effect only while you are alive, and a will is only executed upon one’s death.
How do I draft a power of attorney?
First and foremost, choosing the right attorney is of utmost importance. Choose someone you absolutely trust to act in your best interests, is skilled enough to handle your affairs, and is responsible. Your attorney has a significant amount of power – so this choice is an important decision to make.
It is important to be well-informed and hire a responsible notary public or lawyer to draft a power of attorney for you. Without the proper limits your attorney may be able to execute any financial or legal document on your behalf – including withdrawing money, buying or selling property. It is important to understand what kind of powers you are assigning to your attorney, before executing the document.
Once you are aware of what needs to be done, contact a notary public at Morris Notary and we will help ensure that power of attorney is granted within the limits and expectations of what you have in mind.
For both a power of attorney and a will, you must plan in advance. It is too late to draft a power of attorney if the donor becomes “mentally incapable”
If you have any questions about wills or power of attorney, please contact our notary office. This post contains general information and is not a substitute for getting legal advice for your situation.
If you are looking for legal advice pertaining to a power of attorney, will or any other notarization, please contact Vancouver Downtown Notary via the message box, below.