The Power of a Power of Attorney

Did you hear the story about the entrepreneur who went skiing with their family over the holidays and unexpectedly hit a tree on their decent and suffered a debilitating brain injury? After a lengthy hospital stay and another month of care at home, this unfortunate individual was bombarded with calls from unpaid suppliers and frustrated employees who were waiting for missed paychecks because the entrepreneur did not have a power of attorney for property.

A power of attorney is an important legal document that provides a plan in the event you become injured, infirmed and unable to make decisions regarding your health and finances. With a continuing power of attorney for property, you can appoint someone to make financial decisions for you, such as paying your bills. If you fall ill or become injured and cannot make decisions regarding your health and medical care, a power of attorney for personal health and care can give someone else the right to act on your behalf to make such health and medical decisions. Powers of attorney can be invoked on a permanent or temporary basis to help you make decisions in the time of need.

The entrepreneur’s brain injury unfortunately did not recover and the doctors found the entrepreneur lacking the mental capacity to create a valid power of attorney. Without having the powers of attorney in place, the entrepreneur’s eldest son had to go through a lengthy and costly experience by applying to the courts to be appointed as the entrepreneur’s guardian to help manage the company finances and property. All of this could have been avoided if the entrepreneur had powers of attorney in place while mental capacity was not an issue.

We encourage our clients to have powers of attorney created, especially when planning for their estate. It not only makes good business sense, but it provides a clear plan for you and your loved ones if an unfortunate event occurs and you are unable to make health and financial decisions.

If you would like to learn more or would like to create powers of attorney for yourself, we would be pleased to be of assistance.

Michelle Eames, LLB, LLM