When loved ones fall ill or lose their mental capacity, family and friends often rally to their sides to look out for their interests. However, it can be hard for everyone to agree on what decisions are in the best interests of the incapacitated person.
A power of attorney is a legal document that allows an appointed individual to make decisions on behalf of an incapacitated person. As a way to avoid disputes and resolve disagreements quickly, it’s important to understand what responsibilities a power of attorney possesses.
In Ontario, there are three types of Power of Attorney:
General: a general power of attorney allows a person to make decisions regarding your finances and property while you are mentally capable of doing so. This is usually common in business settings for short-term temporary measures. However, if you become mentally incapable of making these decisions, this role will no longer apply to your situation.
Continuing: a continuing power of attorney is almost like a general power of attorney, except the decisions being made are for an mentally incapable person, not a capable one. This role also gives the attorney authority over property and finances.
Personal Care: This role allows a person to manage your health and personal care (such as living accommodations or long-term medical treatment) should you be unable to make these decisions yourself. He or she is not responsible for your property or financial decisions.
Restrictions And Limitations
You can limit the powers you give to a Power of Attorney. You can allow them authority over only certain parts of your estate. Another limitation duration of attorney powers. The role can start at a specific time, and end at a specific time as you see fit.
These measures are a way to help clear up any issues over the decision-making responsibilities of an estate while owner is alive. However, issues can still arise if family members disagree with the choices made by the power of attorney. It’s best to consult an estate litigation lawyer regarding disputes over the decisions made by a power of attorney regarding the management or health of a loved one.