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What if my incapacitated loved one hasn't assigned powers of attorney?

Understandably, people tend to avoid talking about the possibility of not being able to make their own decisions. When a plan for mental incapacity isn't in place, though, you run the risk of leaving to chance the control of your health and your property.

Two kinds of power of attorney documents exist for Canadians to address financial and health matters in the event of incapacity. Those documents are power of attorney for property and power of attorney for personal care. The former allows you to name a person you trust to protect your financial interests, and the latter allows you to name a trusted person to make decisions regarding your living arrangements and health care.

While assigning power of attorney can be an effective way of ensuring that your interests and your family's interests are protected, people sometimes wait too late to plan for mental incapacity, and it becomes necessary for the family to go through the process of applying for guardianship.

Dorothy Hagel, of Hagel Lawfirm, understands the challenges a family can face when a loved one becomes incapacitated without having appointed an Attorney for Personal Care or an Attorney for Property. People who are unable to understand the consequences of their decisions are vulnerable in a variety of ways that could lead to loss of property and inappropriate health care or living arrangements.

If this is the situation your family is facing, then it is a good idea to speak with an estate planning lawyer who can help you put in an application for guardianship. To learn more, please visit our guardianship overview.

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