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What is a Power of Attorney?

A Power of Attorney is a legal document that allows a person to act on your behalf. They vary from province to province, for example, in Ontario there are 3 kinds:

  1. Continuing Power of Attorney for Property
    • This covers financial affairs and allows a person to name an individual to act for them – especially if they became mentally incapable.
  2. Non-Continuing Power of Attorney for Property
    • This covers your financial affairs but can’t be used if your parent becomes mentally incapable. Your parent might need this if you want someone to look after your financial affairs if you’re away from home for an extended period or if you own property with someone and want that person to handle the sale, especially if you’re away. It is only enforced for a specified time period.
  3. Power of Attorney for Personal Care
    • This POA allows you to appoint someone else to make your personal decisions, such as housing and health care, if you can’t communicate. It’s also called a health-care proxy and a Durable power of attorney for health care. Some issues that may be addressed would be: hospice care; change of physicians; the use of experimental treatments; nutrition; and the use of “heroic measures” to prolong life.

For more details use our links page to go to your provincial or territorial government website and search for Power of Attorney.

Posted in: Legal Questions