Today is the right day to make changes to power of attorney (POA) designates. Why put it off any longer?
Post-death, your beneficiaries will have to go to Ontario’s probate court if they dispute your attorney’s appointment. Unless they step down on their own, your attorney can act completely independently of anyone else’s wishes for you.
They can make decisions about what you eat, where you live and what you wear. They can even decide how your money is invested or spent and what medical care you receive. Think carefully about who you want to act on your behalf if you become mentally incapable one day.
Before you consent to a power of attorney for personal care or property (your finances) you have concerns about, ask if they are the right person for you.
Axess Law drafts or revokes power of attorneys and Wills. Regardless of who made your original POA, we can write a new one for you if you change your mind.
Reasons to Change Your POA
1. Preventing Fraud
If you think your POA is taking advantage of you, change your appointee. We have power of attorney lawyers near you who can act quickly to protect your personal and financial interests. You can meet with us in person or teleconference online, 7 days a week, at times convenient for you.
Signs you are being exploited:
- Your attorney controls who you talk to.
- Family and friends are told you are unavailable when they call.
- Financial records are missing or seem off.
- Bank accounts are changed without requesting it.
- Mail no longer comes directly to you or has been opened.
- Your attorney moves into your home, even though you are content and able to live on your own.
Your attorney is a mismatch for you. While you thought they were a good fit, you find yourself feeling cross or confused by their efforts. You frequently argue or disagree about important decisions. They are taking over your life or so you feel. Time to appoint someone else.
3. Criminal Record
Your attorney has a criminal record. Courts discourage appointments of attorneys who have legal entanglements, like being charged with shoplifting, tax evasion or even traffic offences. After all, it’s your health, money and safety at stake.
Some attorneys can manage it all and others are easily overwhelmed. If your attorney seems stressed by their responsibilities, it could be time to have a conversation about whether they want to continue.
5. They Quit
Axess Law suggests appointing substitute or alternate attorneys in case yours quits without notice. If that does occur, we can make a new POA anytime you need one.
How to Make a New Power of Attorney
Since you make the decisions about a POA, you can prepare or change appointments at any time. You can revise your POA at the same time as your Will or independently, whenever you want.
Having a POA While You’re Capable
Your new POA can assist you immediately with day-to-day financial tasks like doing your banking when you are older or instructing your investment advisor if disabilities make communicating challenging. They can even help with more personal care decisions, like eating nutritious meals and going to medical appointments.
Making Continuing Appointments
Making your next appointee “continuing” or enduring allows them to carry on if you become unable to communicate your choices because of illness, injury or age-related conditions like dementia. Adding this clause to a POA is wise if your health is changing or you are concerned family members may not act in your best interests if you are incapacitated.
Why Act Now?
If you truly have no one to stand in for you and can no longer make your own choices, Ontario’s Public Guardian and Trustee may be appointed to do so. Better to instruct your Axess Law Will and power of attorney (Ontario) lawyer now, than to have a stranger make decisions for you.
Who Can Be Your Attorney
Attorney may sound like a lawyer, but your appointee can be anyone. They must be over 18, mentally sound and preferably living in Ontario. You can appoint a legally married or common law spouse, next of kin, friend or, for a fee, a trust company to be your property or personal care attorney. Axess Law can appoint substitute attorneys in case your designates pass away or quit.
That ensures your personal care and financial matters carry on, even if your attorney doesn’t.
Appointing Joint or Separate Attorneys
While you are making changes, ask yourself if you want one attorney for both property and personal care or separate attorneys to act for you.
When you appoint multiple attorneys, you get to decide if they act together or on their own. Be explicit in your Wills and power of attorney documents. You must give permission to act separately or Ontario estate law will require your attorneys to make all decisions jointly.
Why Have Joint Attorneys
Being joint attorneys has advantages. Your attorneys can talk over decisions before they make them. If your property dealings or personal care are complex, your attorneys can divide up the responsibilities. As long as they agree on what to do, they may make better decisions together.
Appointing Separate Attorneys
Separate attorneys make sense if you want a decision maker always available. They can act independently if your other POA takes a vacation, is sick or incapacitated.
Axess Law prepares POA documents that reflect your personal wishes.
We Make Your POA Legal
Axess Law makes legally binding POAs and Wills for Ontario residents. All you need is two witnesses, 18 or older, who are mentally capable to be your witnesses. You must sign your POA in front of your witnesses, who also sign to finalize your POA. Estate law requires that your witnesses be independent.
Get a POA and Will at the Same Time
Axess Law has power of attorney Ontario lawyers who can draft new appointments at the same time as your personal Will. You pay only $249.99 and up for both a Will and POA. Get both a POA for property and personal care for $99.99 when our Greater Toronto Area lawyers draft both POAs at once. Add a Will separately for $199.99 or make a single POA, without a Will, for only $69.99.
Book Online — It’s Easy
Our Wills lawyers can meet with you by remote video conference anywhere in Ontario, 7 days a week. For in person legal services, book an appointment at any of our nearby Greater Toronto Area or Ottawa Axess Law locations. Arrange appointments that suit your schedule by using our online booking form or call 1-647-479-0118 lawyer line (toll free to 1-877-402-4277).