Power of Attorney – A Financial Planning Component
A power of attorney is an essential part of a financial plan. If something happens to you, for example an accident or illness that impacts your ability to make financial or health care decisions for yourself, you will need someone to make those decisions for you. Everyone over the age of 18 should have a power of attorney for personal care and property in place!
A power of attorney is a legal document that gives someone you trust the right to make financial or health care decisions for you. There are two types of power of attorney: property and personal care.
A power of attorney for personal care can make decisions about your health care, housing, and other aspects of your personal life such as health care, meals and clothing. Without a power of attorney, a family member may be able to make some decisions, but not all!
A power of attorney for property can enable your trusted family or friend to make decisions about your financial affairs. Some of these decisions could include the payment of bills, bank transactions, maintaining or selling you home, managing your investments and continuing the operation of your business. Without a power of attorney for property, family, your spouse or trusted friend cannot automatically step into make financial decisions for you.
The provincial court in Ontario would appoint a guardian in the event that an individual does not have a power of attorney. Appointing a guardian through the court process is more costly and often takes time to complete. Having a current power of attorney enables your appointed individual or individuals toto start making decisions about your financial affairs immediately unless you state otherwise.
Individuals should consult a lawyer when creating a power of attorney. Obtaining quality advice is worth its weight in gold! You want the opportunity to create a power of attorney that meets your personal needs and if you run a business then the needs of the business must also be considered in the power of attorney.
Seek quality legal advice in creating a power of attorney that meets your needs both financially and personally!