The Importance of a Power of Attorney – OBA’s Power of Attorney Month
Who will make decisions for you when you are unable to make decisions for yourself?
It is almost inevitable that a point will come in your life when you can no longer make important decisions regarding your finances and personal care. By signing a power of attorney while capable, you are able to have your own choice as to an attorney to act on your behalf in the event of incapacity or where you, while capable, are simply unavailable when important decisions must be made.
This month, the Ontario Bar Association (the “OBA”) is promoting the importance of making a power of attorney and has initiated a campaign to promote awareness surrounding this issue. The OBA website has a helpful frequently asked questions portion which answers many questions you may have with respect to drafting a power of attorney.
There are two types of powers of attorney: power of attorney for property and power of attorney for personal care.
A power of attorney for property can step in and make financial decisions on the grantor’s behalf. A power of attorney for personal care makes important decisions, when necessary, regarding the care and well-being of the grantor. This may include where to live or what to eat, as well as hygiene and health care.
A power of attorney for personal care may also have authority to carry out your living will (advance health care directive). A living will contains your instructions about what level of medical care you want in the event that you are unable to express your wishes to your loved ones. A living will can give directions to your family if they are faced with difficult end-of-life choices.
Without a power of attorney, you may not get the proper care you need, or someone other than the person of your choosing will be appointed to make those important decisions on your behalf.
Thanks for reading.