Do I need a Power of Attorney for Property?

1. Think about what you need

A lets your attorney do almost anything with your money and property that you could do. This can include: 

  • doing your banking
  • paying your bills
  • signing cheques
  • filing your income tax return
  • getting a loan
  • buying, selling, or leasing real estate
  • buying consumer goods and services, such as furniture, appliances, clothing, and home and auto repairs

For example, this means your attorney can:

  • access and use the money in your bank accounts
  • sell your house or give notice to your landlord that you're going to move out
  • buy and sell your furniture
  • sign a lease agreement in your name

But your attorney cannot:

  • make or change your will
  • make or change who's a beneficiary on your insurance policy or a registered plan, such as your registered retirement savings plan (RRSP)
  • make a new Power of Attorney for you

Putting limits on what your attorney can do

A Power of Attorney for Property can start working as soon as you sign it. This means that your attorney can start managing your money and property while:

  • you're , and
  • you're making these decisions yourself.

But you can limit how long the Power of Attorney lasts. For example, you can make a Power of Attorney that lasts only for a time when you're sick or away on vacation.

And you can limit what your attorney can do. For example, you can make a Power of Attorney that lets your attorney only sign documents that are needed to sell your home.

You can put other types of conditions and limits in your Power of Attorney. For example, you can:

  • say that your attorney must talk to specific people, such as family members or financial advisors, before making certain decisions
  • list the types of investments your attorney can or cannot make

If you want your Power of Attorney for Property to come into effect only when you become , you must include a statement saying this. For example, you could write: “This Continuing Power of Attorney for Property will come into effect only when I become incapable of making decisions about my own property.”

If you include this, your attorney may need to show proof that you're incapable before they can act for you.

You might also want to say who you want to decide about your capacity. This person does not have to be a health-care practitioner or a . It can be your attorney, a friend, or someone else who you trust to assess you in a fair way.

If you don't choose who will do this, your attorney will have to pay a capacity assessor to do the assessment.

Continuing Power of Attorney for Property

If your Power of Attorney lets your attorney go on acting for you if you become of managing your money and property, it's called a Continuing Power of Attorney for Property.

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