Powers of Attorney documents (POAs) individuals execute at the same time as their wills thinking it is a package deal but just how important are they? POAs are very powerful because the person designated in the POAs is able to make very important decisions on your behalf.

There are two types of POAs, power of attorney for property which deals with finances and power of attorney for personal care, which allows for the POA designate to make health care decisions. 

They are not just important for the person executing them but also for the POA designate. They are the one who takes over in situations when it is needed, so they must be informed. As outlined by Dr. Mary Jarratt in her interview with the CBC, the preparation and education about POAs prior to cases of emergencies is quite limited. Something which she struggled with when she needed to step in and become the POA for her brother. [1] In the same story by the CBC, another family shares their struggles of understanding what the POA documents represent and how detailed they should be.

Families have outlined the struggles which they have faced regarding Power of Attorney. They have had a difficult time getting the physical POA documents to be able to take over their role, and they have not understood what has to be done for this process and what is required of them. Furthermore, they have had difficulties with access to financials when there is sophisticated cyber security.

What are some things to consider when drafting up and executing your POAs:

  1. Make sure the person you designate is able to execute and understands the duties which they will need to perform;
  2. Make sure they are aware of where the documents are located;
  3. Relay your wishes to them before situations arise when the POAs are activated;
  4. Make sure they understand how to access your finances;
  5. Your wishes regarding your home;
  6. If you have children, what would you like for them;
  7. Account for various situations adequately.

Here at Northview Law, we are committed to helping you through this process. Our lawyers and experienced staff are here to walk you through the difficulties of POAs and help you assess what is important to include in your Power of Attorney documents. If you have any questions regarding Power of Attorney documents, please contact our office.

[1] For more on this see: Life can change overnight. 2 families share what people should know about power of attorney | CBC Radio