ELDER LAW


ELDER LAW

Enhanced Powers of Attorney

A POA allows you to appoint a person to manage all or some of your financial affairs, including major transactions such as selling or mortgaging real estate and minor day to day bill payments.
A POA may be of great value to you in the future if you lose mental capacity due to age. Contact our office to consult with one of our lawyers today.

A Power of Attorney in British Columbia is governed by the Power of Attorney Act.

The Power of Attorney Act states that anyone, with mental capacity, aged 19 or older is considered an adult and may make a valid Power of Attorney.

In an Enduring Power of Attorney, an adult may authorize an attorney to make decisions on behalf of the adult, or do anything that the adult may lawfully do by an agent in relation to the adult’s financial affairs. The powers granted in the Power of Attorney may be unlimited and general or specific to, for example, a given property or bank account.

An Enduring Power of Attorney differs from a normal Power of Attorney because an Enduring Power of Attorney remains in effect even if the grantor of the Power of Attorney loses mental capacity at some time in the future, after making the Power of Attorney. A normal Power of Attorney would no longer be effective if the grantor lost mental capacity. A Power of Attorney may also be drafted to ensure that it never expires due to the passage of time.

A valid Enduring Power of Attorney must be in writing, signed and dated by the adult in the presence of two witnesses and by both witnesses in the presence of the adult. Only one witness is required if the witness is a lawyer or a member in good standing with the Society of Notaries public of British Columbia.

If an adult is unable to sign the Enduring Power of Attorney, another adult who is not a witness may sign on behalf of the adult who is physically unable to sign. The Attorney must also sign the Enduring Power of Attorney in the presence of two witnesses or a single witness, if the witness is a lawyer or a member in good standing with the Society of Notaries public of British Columbia.

Section 19 of the Power of Attorney Act explains the duties of an attorney. These duties include an obligation on the part of the attorney to act honestly and in good faith, to exercise the care, diligence and skill of a reasonably prudent person, to not take any action for their own benefit and to act within the authority given in the Enduring Power of Attorney.

Schedule a consultation with on of our lawyers today to see if you should have an Enduring Power of Attorney. Our office is able to schedule out of office visits for any clients who are unable to come to our office.

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Representation Agreements

This Agreement allows you to appoint a person to make day-to-day decisions regarding your health care and personal care matters. This may include an agreement as to who will take care of you, where you will stay, or who can make legal decisions on your behalf. A Representation Agreement is a separate and distinct document from a POA.

Many health care providers will only accept a Representation Agreement (and not a POA) to allow another person to make health care decisions on your behalf.

Living Wills

A Living Will is a simplified Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) form which allows you to declare your intentions to health care providers, your family and friends, with respect to your possible admission to a palliative care or hospice facility.  Seniors over 65 are provided with a FREE LIVING WILL when they have a will and an enduring power of attorney prepared at the same time.

Committeeship

When a family member becomes incapable of managing their own affairs due to mental infirmity arising from disease, age or from the use of drugs, you can be at a loss as to how to manage their affairs and needs.  In some cases, spouses or elderly parents have granted a trusted family member, a Power of Attorney when they were capable.  However, if a Power of Attorney is not available, the Patients Property Act of BC, allows a person to apply to the Supreme Court to be appointed as a “committee” of that incapable person.  Although making the court application can be complex, time consuming and costly, we can assist you by making the process easy to understand and explain your rights and obligations in a plain and simple fashion.

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