You’ve probably heard the term, but do you know what a Power of Attorney document is and when you actually need one according to Canadian and British Columbian laws?

First, you need to know that there are two key people/roles in a Power of Attorney Document. The donor is an adult who needs someone to act on their behalf and the lawyer (or multiple lawyers) is appointed by the donor to handle their matters as outlined in the document. In this case, “Attorney” doesn’t necessarily mean a legal professional. It is a trusted family member or friend you appoint to act in your stead.

What is Power of Attorney?

If you are unable to carry out your own legal or financial matters, like during a lengthy vacation or illness, you can assign someone to act on your behalf using a legal document called a Power of Attorney. This legal document can give the lawyer general or specific limited powers.

Why do you need a Power of Attorney?

You must create your Power of Attorney when you are of sound mind and competent. The document dictates how your legal and financial matters will be dealt with in the unexpected, or expected, event you are unable to care for your own matters. It can also be drawn up to include validity inclusions to cover just the length of an extended vacation or long absences from home.

There are two types of Power of Attorneys. Ordinary Power of Attorney is only valid when the donor is capable of action for themselves. An Enduring Power of Attorney remains valid if the donor becomes incapacitated. Upon the donor’s death, the document becomes invalid and the Executor of the will takes over all decision making.

Now that you know what a Power of Attorney is, if you need to create one for you or a family member, please contact the lawyers at Dreyer Davison Family law who can answer any questions you have, or help you file Power of Attorney paperwork.