Power of Attorney for Property

A Power of Attorney for Property legally appoints a financial manager who makes decisions on your behalf to ensure you live the best life possible within your financial means. They are required to consult with you on care decisions affecting you while you are mentally capable. At Axess Law, we offer a number of affordable options to draft a Will with the choice of in-office or online appointments. Let our lawyers guide you every step of the way.

What is a Power of Attorney?

A power of attorney is a legal document in which one person (the donor) appoints another person (the attorney) to make decisions on their behalf if they’re unable to. PoA’s can be extremely useful and versatile. For example, if you’re leaving the country for an extended period of time, you may want somebody to manage your financial affairs for you. Similarly, if you’re approaching old age, you may want to have someone make your personal care decisions regarding your health.

A Power of Attorney for Property is designed to name a person to make decisions about your assets if you are unable to. This can include things such as paying off your debt and bills, collecting money owed to you, or managing your real estate.

Notably, these PoA’s are known as a general power of attorneys. General PoAs are the most common type of PoA, giving broad authorizations to the attorney which allows them to make general medical or financial decisions for the donor.

How It Works

01

Book Your Appointment

Click on ‘Get Started’ button to submit a request to meet with the Lawyer. Our customer care team will reach out to you within minutes to book your appointment. 

02

Submit Your Documents

On the day of your appointment, our lawyer will verify your identification and walk you through the intake process where they confirm your contact information.

03

Draft Your Will With A Lawyer

Our lawyer will ask you a series of questions regarding your executor, beneficiaries, and make a note of your wishes before drafting a Will accordingly.

04

Execute Your Will With A Lawyer

Our lawyer will cross-check each page of the Will with you and if you are happy with the draft, the Will is signed and executed by the lawyer on the same day.

Documents we need

If you decide to draft a personal Will, bring the following to your online video call or in-person appointment with an Axess Law Ontario Wills lawyer:

  • Statements of all your personal assets such as stocks, investments, or real estate deeds
  • Records of existing debts such as car loans, mortgage, or student loans
    Government photo ID, such as a driver’s license, passport, or permanent resident card
  • And, your contact information.

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Types of Powers of Attorney for Property

A Power of Attorney for Property may be a general type that allows the attorney to deal with all decisions regarding finances and property, or it may be a limited type that allows the attorney to make decisions for a specific purpose or time such as to complete a particular transaction.

An enduring or continuing Power of Attorney for Property remains in effect once the donor loses capacity. If the Power of Attorney is not specifically designated as enduring or continuing, it ceases to be effective when the donor loses the capacity to manage the property.

Normally, a Power of Attorney takes effect when it is signed. A springing Power of Attorney only takes effect after a certain event or trigger such as if the donor becomes incapable of making decisions.

How to Get Power of Attorney (Ontario)

Axess Law has Wills and estates lawyers in Greater Toronto Area near you who can draft a power of attorney form for your unique needs. We can show you a power of attorney sample to help you decide what to include. A POA is voluntary and made while you are mentally capable, which means:

  • you know what assets you have and their worth
  • are aware of your obligations to dependants
  • and understand the authority and power you are giving your attorney — which, unless you state otherwise, takes effect immediately.

Your Legal Obligations as Guardian

As guardian, you are expected to act in the person’s best interests and give them the best quality of life possible. It’s your legal obligation to:

Separate your own and the person’s finances to prevent intermingling assets

Pay legitimate bills, debts and legal obligations they can afford

Collect income and benefits, such as pensions and GST refunds

File and pay taxes

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Convenient Appointments

Axess Law gives you the choice of booking an online or in-person appointment. Our lawyers are available 7 days a week, at times convenient for you. We can meet in person, by phone, email, or via a remote video call. In addition to these, there are 5 Axess Law offices located across the Greater Toronto Area – all with onsite parking or easily accessible by public transit.

Some FAQs

Ontario doesn’t use the term living wills, but you can make advance directives similar to a living will in your POA that state when to discontinue medical treatment. For instance, you can include a do not resuscitate order (DNR) or instructions not to give you blood transfusions if you are unable to consent or refuse treatment. As long as your instructions are possible to follow, your attorney or substitute decision-makers cannot overturn your wishes. Axess Law’s Wills and estates lawyers prepare a power of attorney form that expresses your personal wishes.
Whoever you choose as an attorney is expected to act in good faith, keep accurate records, not mingle assets with their own and avoid conflicts of interest. You can change your POA at any time, just by contacting an Axess Law lawyer near you. Tell us if an attorney makes you uncomfortable, assets are missing or you or your family member are being coerced to do things against your Will.

You can make POAs for almost any situation:

  • Continuing Power of Attorney for Property to manage your financial affairs if you become mentally incapacitated.
  • Non-continuing Power of Attorney for Property to assist with day-to-day financial decisions when you are elderly or on vacation but mentally capable. Non-continuing POAs can be revoked when or if you no longer require assistance.
  • Power of Attorney for Personal Care to make personal decisions if you are mentally incapable, such as about your health care, housing, meals, clothing, and hygiene.

Your “attorney” is not a lawyer, unless you give POA to a lawyer, and can be anyone who is eligible.

A living will is a legal document describing a person’s desires regarding their medical care in the event that they become incapable of expressing consent and stating their wishes. Most commonly, people indicate whether or not they want to be kept on life support, resuscitated, or donate their organs. Naturally, because a living will is closely tied to healthcare, some people decide to include a living will as part of their PoA for Personal Care. However, many people also like the flexibility of a simple PoA for Personal Care, allowing the appointed Attorney to make decisions as they see fit. It is always advisable to discuss your wishes with your Attorney as early as possible after your PoA for Personal Care or living will is drafted.
One way to distinguish between your PoA and your will is by envisioning a timeline. A PoA is used to protect your wishes while you are still alive, while your will is used to protect your wishes after you’ve passed away. Both legal documents are important and useful in their own ways, but these terms shouldn’t be used interchangeably as they serve two very different purposes.

If you are unable to make decisions on your own behalf and you have not appointed a power of attorney, there are set rules dictating how decisions regarding your assets and care will be made:

  • In Ontario, without a Power of Attorney for personal care, the Health Care Consent Act outlines a list of who will make decisions on your behalf. The order is as follows: your spouse or common-law partner, parents, siblings, and finally, any other living relative. Sometimes an issue arises when the person granted the right to make decisions for your healthcare isn’t the person you actually want making those choices, however, having a PoA can help to prevent this problem from arising.
  • Without a PoA for Property, your family will likely not be able to access or manage your assets. Therefore, for example, they won’t be able to pay your bills or collect money owed to you. Instead, they may have to undergo a lengthy and expensive process where they will petition to become your legal guardian and gain access to your property.

Simply put, having a power of attorney ensures that if you are unable to make health care or financial decisions for yourself in the future for any reason, your loved ones will have the power to take care of you and your belongings according to your wishes.

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