Power of attorney

What is a  power of attorney?

   A power of  attorney is a legal document that authorizes one person to act for another  person. A grant of power of attorney allows the attorney to sign legal  documents and to make contracts according to the powers granted within the  power of attorney. Historically a power of attorney ceased upon mental  incapacity (these can still be made), but under the present British Columbia  legislation, the power of attorney can be enduring if you wish; in this case it  continues to operate even if the person granting the power of attorney has  become mentally incapable. Of course, the grantor of the power of attorney had  to be mentally competent at the time the power of attorney was signed. Your  power of attorney ceases to be effective upon death. Your Will then comes into  force.

What can a  power of attorney be used for?

   Most legal  authority can be granted to an attorney. The most usual use of a power of  attorney is for signing real estate documents when the grantor of the power of  attorney is out of the province, unable to sign the documents, or mentally  incapable. For example, even though you own property as a joint tenant with  your spouse, if your spouse became mentally incapable, you need a power of  attorney to sell your home.

What is a  general power of attorney?

  The most  common form of power of attorney is the general power of attorney, which allows  the attorney to do almost all acts that the grantor of the power of attorney  could do. The general power of attorney usually allows the attorney to act  after mental infirmity and also could be used in the Land Title Office for  greater than three years. In order for the power of attorney to continue past  mental incapacity, the power of attorney must expressly say that it is an  enduring power of attorney.



Do I need a power of Attorney?


It is a often convenient for a person and their spouse to have an enduring power of attorney on each other. I that case if one becomes sick or is mentally incapacitated then the other can sign documents on the behalf of the other. It is not an expensive to do and can help avoid a lot of issues if ones spouse is not available or has a accident or sudden illness.



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