Estate Planning
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Power of Attorney for Property: Safeguarding Your Assets in Ontario

Written by
The Tabuchi Law Team
Published on
October 17, 2022

A Power of Attorney for Property (POA) is a legal document that allows you to appoint someone to manage your finances on your behalf if you become unable to do so yourself. This can be due to a variety of reasons, such as illness, injury, or mental incapacity.

A POA is an important estate planning tool that can help to protect your assets and ensure that your financial affairs are handled in accordance with your wishes. It is especially important for people who have complex financial affairs or who own significant assets.

Why do you need a Power of Attorney for Property?

There are a number of reasons why you may need a POA for Property, including:

  • To ensure that your financial affairs are handled in accordance with your wishes if you become unable to do so yourself. This can be due to a variety of reasons, such as illness, injury, or mental incapacity.
  • To protect your assets from fraud and mismanagement. If you become unable to manage your own finances, a POA can help to ensure that your assets are protected.
  • To ensure that your financial affairs continue to be managed smoothly, even if you become unable to do so yourself. This can be especially important if you own a business or have significant financial assets.

Who should you appoint as your attorney?

When choosing an attorney, it is important to select someone who is trustworthy, responsible, and knowledgeable about financial matters. You should also choose someone who you are comfortable sharing your financial information with.

Some common choices for attorneys include:

  • Spouse or partner
  • Child
  • Other close family member
  • Friend
  • Business associate
  • Financial advisor
  • Lawyer

What powers can you give to your attorney?

The scope of your attorney's powers will depend on the terms of your POA. You can choose to give your attorney a broad range of powers, or you can limit their powers to specific tasks.

Some of the most common powers that people give to their attorneys include:

  • The power to pay bills
  • The power to manage bank accounts
  • The power to invest money
  • The power to sell or buy property
  • The power to make decisions about your healthcare
  • The power to make decisions about your personal care

How do you create a Power of Attorney for Property?

To create a POA for Property, you will need to complete a legal form and have it signed by yourself and two witnesses. The form must then be registered with the Ontario Land Registry Office.

You can find POA forms online or at most office supply stores. You can also have a lawyer draft a POA for you.

What are the benefits of having a Power of Attorney for Property?

There are a number of benefits to having a POA for Property, including:

  • Peace of mind: Knowing that someone you trust can manage your finances on your behalf if you become unable to do so yourself can give you peace of mind.
  • Asset protection: A POA can help to protect your assets from fraud and mismanagement.
  • Continuity: A POA can ensure that your financial affairs continue to be managed smoothly, even if you become unable to do so yourself.
  • Tax benefits: In some cases, a POA can help to reduce your taxes.

How to revoke a Power of Attorney for Property

You can revoke a POA at any time, as long as you are mentally competent. To revoke a POA, you must provide written notice to your attorney and to the Ontario Land Registry Office.

Conclusion

A Power of Attorney for Property is an important estate planning tool that can help to protect your assets and ensure that your financial affairs are handled in accordance with your wishes. If you do not have a POA in place, you should consider creating one.

Here are some additional tips for creating a Power of Attorney for Property:

  • Discuss the terms of your POA with your attorney before you create it. This will help to ensure that you understand the powers that you are giving to your attorney and that the POA meets your needs.
  • Keep the original POA in a safe place. You should also provide copies of the POA to your attorney, your financial advisor, and any other trusted individuals.
  • Review your POA regularly and make updates as needed. For example, you may need to update your POA if you change your attorney, get married or divorced, or have children.

If you have any questions about Power of Attorneys for Property, you should consult with us today.

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