Powers of Attorney

Enduring Powers of Attorney 

Most of us know someone whose ability to make everyday decisions has gradually or suddenly been impaired. Stroke, accident, dementia or chronic illness can impact one’s ability to manage his or her property and personal care. Paying bills, buying or selling a home, managing investments or dealing with health care professionals become challenges to those whose capacity has deteriorated. Signing an Enduring Power of Attorney (“EPA”) while one is well allows the donor (the person signing the EPA) to specify who he or she wants to manage his or her business affairs now and/or on the loss of capacity. A Health Care Representation Agreement is often also prepared; this allows a person to appoint someone to take care of personal care and gives guidance on health care decision-making now and/or on the loss of capacity.

Powers of attorney can be limited and deal with specific property or general and deal with all property. Powers of attorney can be ordinary or enduring: ordinary powers of attorney are no longer valid once one loses mental capacity while enduring ones are.

A person does not lose control over their affairs by signing an EPA and can continue to deal with his or her property as before; an EPA allows someone to assist in dealing with property such as money, vehicles and houses. An EPA can be revoked or changed at any time while a person still has capacity.

The above is for information purposes only and is not legal advice.

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