When it comes to estate planning, many people are primarily concerned with what happens after they pass away. But what about scenarios where one is still alive but unable to manage his or her health or affairs. In cases where capacity is in question, Ontario individuals and their loved ones can benefit from power of attorney plans.
In Canada, there are two different types of power of attorney. The first type deals with personal matters, such as health decisions. The second is designated to manage financial matters. By selecting one or more individuals to manage these important matters in advance, individuals can protect themselves and their families from future conflict and turmoil.
It is important to note that medical decisions are not automatically made by a power of attorney. The spouse and children, in order of age, are legally consulted in these matters. Those with a concern about a decision made by a power of attorney should contact an Ontario lawyer about the situation right away, as recourse may be available.
Those who are named power of attorney have an obligation to make decisions that take the testator’s personal feelings and choices into account. To ensure decisions are followed, some testators choose to name multiple powers of attorney. There are pros and cons to this decision, but ultimately, family dynamics, risk factors and assets have to be considered. Discussing what may happen upon loss of capacity with a lawyer in advance is a good idea. In addition, those facing conflict involving power of attorney can also benefit from legal support.