Wills & Power of Attorney for Property

Speak to a lawyer to draft your Will from the comfort of your home. We bring legal expertise to you in the most convenient and affordable way.

What is a Power of Attorney?

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. 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.

Your POA for the property is a financial manager who acts in good faith, on your behalf. Their decisions affect your quality of life, ensuring you live the best life possible within your financial means. They are required to consult with you while you are mentally capable and with supportive friends and family on care decisions affecting you.

Your appointee must ensure you have what is reasonably needed for:

  • Your own care, support, and education.
  • Dependants’ care, support, and education.
  • Any remaining obligations you may have.

You can direct your POA to give gifts to charities or friends and relatives, including loans, as long as they don’t interfere with your own basic needs. Axess Law’s Wills and Estate attorneys can explain rules around charitable giving and loans.

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

We offer a number of affordable options to give you peace of mind in knowing that your family will be taken care of the way you want. Bring the following for your online video conference (anywhere in Ontario) or in-person meeting at our Greater Toronto Area law offices:

Axess Law will ask you for two pieces of ID. Proving your identity is obligatory to prevent fraud. You may use either two pieces of primary ID or one primary and one secondary ID. These include:

  • Driver’s license
  • Canadian passport
  • Ontario photo card
  • Canadian citizenship card with photo
  • PR card with photo
Our lawyers will ask to see records of any existing debts that you may have. These would include debts such as car loans, mortgages, or student loans.
When drafting a cohabitation agreement, bring us your personal statement of assets. This would include documents such as stocks, investments, or real estate deeds.
When booking an appointment, our team will make a note of your contact information. This would include your name, email address, and telephone number.

When a Power of Attorney is Needed

POAs are made while you are mentally capable of caring for your own property. Being incapable means:

  • you can’t understand the information necessary to make decisions
  • or you can’t appreciate the consequences of decisions or inaction.

You obviously can’t foresee all the consequences of every decision you make. Your decisions must be “reasonably foreseeable”. In other words, most people would realize what could happen.

How Continuing Power of Attorney Works

You can limit a POA’s authority, such as having them manage your bank account when you are elderly. Or you can make a continuing power of attorney, allowing your appointee to manage your property even if you are mentally incapacitated. With a few restrictions, a POA can be authorized to do anything you would do if you were capable of it yourself.
Appoint alternate or substitute attorneys in case an attorney is unable or unwilling to act for you.

Who Can Be Your Attorney

You can choose almost anyone as your attorney who is mentally capable and 16 or older for personal care or 18 or older for property. This includes:

Landlord

Social worker, counsellor or teacher

Doctor, nurse, therapist or other health care provider

Homemaker or attendant

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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

Any competent adult over 18 can be granted power of attorney for property in Ontario. “Competent” means they understand their obligations, including that the POA can be revoked at any time. Your appointee should be accountable, prudent and diligent, honest and have integrity. You can make joint appointments or appoint a successor in case your POA resigns or predeceases you.

Your POA can legally do anything in their POA for property documents. Decisions they can make include:

  • paying bills
  • making or managing financial investments
  • opening or closing bank accounts
  • collecting debts
  • buying goods and services like new furniture or a new roof
  • applying for pensions and other benefits
  • maintaining, selling or renting real property like a home, cottage, or land
  • defending you in court or starting legal actions.
  1. With a POA, you keep ownership of personal and real property, like the deed to your home. Your POA is authorized to sell that property if necessary to manage your finances, but as long as you are mentally capable, they must consult with you first.
  2. You are liable for your own financial obligations. But your POA can be declared negligent by a court if they fail to pay your bills or collect debts you are owed.
  3. POAs can’t mingle your money with their own or borrow or use your money for personal purposes unless you agree in advance. They are legally required to keep accurate records and “pass the accounts” (submit their records to the court) on demand or if legally challenged in court. Your records must be kept confidential unless a court orders otherwise or it is necessary to manage your financial affairs.
  4. Your POA can’t write your Will, make decisions about it or decide how to dispose of assets you leave to beneficiaries. Only you can write a personal Will in Ontario. You must appoint an estate trustee, personal representative or executor independently of your POA for property to distribute your estate after you die.

Next-of-kin, close friends, or anyone concerned about your POA’s conduct can address the court if they feel you are being unduly coerced or influenced or your property is being mismanaged. The court may order the POA to pass the accounts for its scrutiny, supervise the POA’s decisions, or set aside a POA and appoint a guardian for the property.

Unless your POA volunteers their services, their fees are based on a schedule set by the court. You can include the compensation amount in POA documents or your attorney can draw fees monthly, quarterly, or annually from your resources.

Current fees are 3% of capital and income received, plus 3% of capital and income disbursements, and 0.6% of your assets’ annual average value (called a care and management fee). A POA can apply to court to have their fees increased if they believe they are inadequate for the services provided.

Ontario courts expect POAs who receive compensation to exercise the same care, diligence, and skill as any business manager responsible for others’ property. A volunteer POA is required to exercise the same care, diligence, and skill that you would if you managed your own financial or business affairs.

Axess Law’s Ontario Wills and Estate lawyers can answer any questions you have and draft a personal Will and prepare a POA for a property at the same time. A Will and POA for property cost just $249.99 and up. You can make a Will separately for $199.99 or a POA for a property without a Will for just $69.99. You pay $99.99 to make POAs for both property and personal care.
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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