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Powers of attorney and guardianship: 2 ways to protect a vulnerable loved one

Canadians are living longer than ever before, and with longer lifetimes come increasing concerns about the possibility of dementia and mental incapacity. An essential way to plan for the possibility of one's own incapacity is to draft these two documents: power of attorney for personal care and power of attorney for property.

However, many people do not take these important steps, and it eventually becomes necessary for a family member to establish guardianship. If you have a vulnerable loved one who has not created powers of attorney, then you may need to speak with a guardianship lawyer about safeguarding your loved one's financial interests and general well-being.

In order to establish guardianship in Ontario, a capacity assessor must assess whether the individual can understand the consequences of his or her decisions. Professionals who can serve as a capacity assessor include doctors, nurses, psychologists, occupational therapists and social workers.

At Hagel Lawfirm, we assist individuals in Mississauga and throughout the GTA in applying for guardianship of their vulnerable loved ones. We also draft powers of attorney, which can be written so that a capacity assessor's opinion is required before the powers of attorney are enacted.

For more on capacity assessments and powers of attorney, please see our overview of guardianship applications.

For more on the capacity issues that aging adults may encounter, please see our previous post, "Many Canadians report financial problems associated with dementia."

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