In the unfortunate event something happens to you that will affect your family’s way of living, creating and instituting a power of attorney can work to the benefit of securing your family’s financial insurance and future. A power of attorney (POA) is essentially a legal document that allows a person or a specific group of people you trust to make financial or health care decisions on your behalf. This trusted person does not have to be a professional lawyer, however, it is still highly recommended to rely on one to eliminate any miscommunication and gain helpful legal guidance.
At Duensing Law, Matthias Duensing and his legal team will help provide you with objective and experienced power of attorney advice during your difficult times. We are acutely aware of how sensitive POA matters can be to some clients and strongly suggest you work with an experienced lawyer to fully understand the powers you’ll be transferring. Contact us today if you would like to start planning a power of attorney to prepare for the future.
There are many aspects of a power of attorney you will need to understand before making a final decision on it. We will explain what goes into the process and how it may affect your existing will for your estate.
Does A Power Of Attorney Need To Be Notarized in Ontario?
Difference provinces have their nuances about notarizing legal documents like a power of attorney. However, in the province of Ontario, there are no requirements for your power of attorney to be notarized by an authorized person. As long as you have fulfilled the guidelines for signing and conditions of witnessing, the power of attorney document is legal.
The most important requirement when creating and signing a power of attorney is having your sound mental capability. This aspect is key to validating the POA because it means you are able to understand and appreciate any financial or legal decisions. You are also aware of any consequences that come as a result of making key financial decisions. You may also appoint more than one person in your POA and appoint people who can make decisions in your best interests.
Other requirements that need to be met in order for the POA to be valid is having the document created and stored physically. A POA cannot be stored online and must be printed and signed in the presence of two witnesses to confirm your signature. Moreover, the signatures on the signed document must be in wet ink because you cannot digitally sign these documents.
Although a power of attorney may have similarities to a will, they are different legal documents that can have varying effects on who becomes responsible for your finances and personal estate for your family.
Do I Need A Power Of Attorney If I Already Have A Will?
The short answer is yes and having a will created for your estate is highly recommended, even if you have already established a power of attorney. The distinction between a POA and a will is that the former ends on the day of your death while a will resolves any financial or estate matters after your death.
Having both a will and a power of attorney at the same time in your lifetime can be beneficial in some cases. A legal will expresses your last wishes after your death and has no legal effect before you die, whereas a POA takes effect only has effect before your death. This can provide you with enough assurance that your day-to-day needs will be met if you’re dealing with difficult conditions. It also gives your loved ones financial security and insurance of your assets and resources after you’ve passed on.
The three types of POA that are commonly established include a Continuing Power of Attorney for Property (CPOA), non-continuing Power of Attorney for Property, and Power of Attorney for Personal Care (POAPC).
A CPOA is the most straightforward of the three types, ensuring your financial affairs are kept in order and allows for someone you name to make decisions for you if you become mentally incapable. A non-continuing Power of Attorney for Property takes care of your financial affairs, but can’t be executed if you become mentally incapable. This POA type works best if you need someone to look after your financial transactions while you’re away from home for a short time. Lastly, a POAPC covers other aspects of your personal affairs and estate like housing, clothing, eating, and health care.
Does Power Of Attorney Override A Will?
The person named in your power of attorney cannot make a will for you or change the existing terms on your behalf. This responsibility lies solely with the subject of the will and the lawyer writing the legal document. The POA cannot also change beneficiaries on a life insurance plan or give new powers of attorney to another person without your consent. As such, a legal will often takes the top precedent at the time of your death to settle your final affairs.
Contact Duensing Law today to schedule an appointment and consultation on creating a Legal Will and Power of Attorney that reflects your wishes best. Work with our team now to ensure both your immediate daily needs and financial future are secure and properly established after your passing.
Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us directly at (416) 601-4769 to get more information.
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