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Enduring Power of Attorney

An Enduring Power of Attorney is a document where a Donor (person giving the authority) appoints or authorizes their Attorney (person acting on the Donor’s behalf) to stand in the Donor’s place and deal with the Donor’s property, financial decisions or financial affairs. This kind of Power of Attorney is called “enduring” because the appointment endures notwithstanding the Donor’s later loss of mental capacity.

An Enduring Power of Attorney is essential for the following reason. When a Donor temporarily or permanently loses mental capacity and is rendered unable to make financial and other decisions, their Attorney can continue to act on their behalf.

For more information on an Enduring Power of Attorney, contact one of our Power of Attorney Lawyers in Edmonton.

Primary Things to Think About Before Making an Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA)

  1. Choosing your Primary Attorney(s) and Alternate Attorneys;
  2. Powers to entrust to your Attorney(s);
  3. When this Enduring Power of Attorney takes effect;
  4. Who will declare your incapacity;
  5. How many individuals are required to confirm or declare your incapacity;
  6. Handling of your financial affairs;
  7. Compensation of your Attorney(s); and
  8. Where to keep your Enduring Power of Attorney.

For more information on what else you should be thinking about when making an Enduring Power of Attorney, contact one of our experienced Power of Attorney Lawyers in Alberta.

The Process of Preparing your Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA)

Our clients at the Edmonton Law Office seek out our services because they feel overwhelmed with the many considerations surrounding estate planning, including the preparation of their Enduring Powers of Attorney. Without the guidance of one of our experienced enduring power of attorney lawyers, estate planning can be an overwhelming and daunting task.

At Edmonton Law Office, we simplify the process for our clients while educating them along the way. Upon retaining one of our Estate Lawyers in Edmonton, we will guide you throughout the estate planning process and the process required for the preparation of your Enduring Power of Attorney in the following ways:

  • First, one of our Edmonton Estate Lawyers will share with you a questionnaire where you can provide us with your relevant background information and orient us with your preferred options for planning your estate and Power of Attorney;
  • Second, we will meet in person or online, whichever you prefer, to assess your wishes and instructions and to provide recommendations to attain the most appropriate estate planning approach for you;
  • Third, after our meeting, we will prepare your Last Will and/or Enduring Power of Attorney, as well as your Personal Directive in accordance with your wishes and instructions. We will then send you the first draft of the documents for your review, make any necessary amendments, and confirm your instructions to get everything in order;
  • Fourth, after one of our Estate Lawyers in Alberta receives your confirmation, we will book our second meeting, where we will discuss and sign your documents together to set your wishes and arrange for your estate plan to be legally enforceable; and
  • Finally, when the documents have been signed and everything is in order, we will provide guidance on the safekeeping and storage of the signed originals, while we will retain a copy for our records. Alternatively, our Estate Lawyers in Edmonton can provide you with the option of having your documents retained by the Edmonton Law Office for safekeeping.

Note:

When you’re ready to make your Enduring Power of Attorney, we strongly suggest you also make a Personal Directive and Will. Doing these legal documents together is inexpensive compared to the financial and emotional cost that your loved ones could suffer if you don’t have them.

Why make an Enduring Power of Attorney?

There are invaluable advantages to setting your Enduring Power of Attorney:

  1. Gives you peace of mind;
  2. Helps you plan for when you become incapacitated;
  3. Ensures your values and preferences are respected;
  4. Protects your finances, family and dependents;
  5. Helps avoid family disputes regarding appointments; and
  6. Avoids complications with Trusteeship proceedings.

Note:

A Will only takes effect upon death. If a person does not die but only loses his or her mental capacity due to an illness or accident, it is very important that he or she has an Enduring Power of Attorney and a Personal Directive. At Edmonton Law Office, our experienced Estate Planning Lawyers can provide invaluable education and recommendations in this regard. The alternative to preparing an Enduring Power of Attorney, for example, may result in a more tedious and time-consuming Guardianship and Trusteeship application that will be presented before a court.

When Is It Too Late To Create An Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA)

If a loved one lacks cognitive capacity and cannot create an Enduring Power of Attorney or Personal Directive, generally, no decisions can be made on that individual’s behalf unless there is a Trusteeship or Guardianship Order. When this happens, that individual becomes a Dependent Adult. Before somebody, usually, a family member or a friend, can make financial or personal decisions on behalf of the Dependent Adult, an application must be filed in Court for an Order of Trusteeship and/or Guardianship, respectively. Contact one of our experienced Trusteeship Lawyers or Guardianship Lawyers, who can assist you.

Going down this route, however, is usually much more time-consuming and costly in comparison to having an Enduring Power of Attorney and Personal Directive drawn up while you still retain capacity. If a person has a Personal Directive or an Enduring Power of Attorney, they do not require a guardian or trustee.

Our experienced Guardianship and Trusteeship Lawyers in Edmonton are here to help!

Guardianship and Trusteeship Application and Capacity Assessment Reports

A Guardianship and Trusteeship Lawyer at the Edmonton Law Office can assist with obtaining a Court Order allowing you to ensure your loved ones are safe, protected, and well cared for. Before applying for a Guardianship and Trusteeship Order, a Capacity Assessment Report must be completed by a certified assessor, usually a physician, psychologist, or other healthcare professionals. This report is included in the application package that is ultimately filed with the Court. The Court has the option of appointing the applicant to act as the guardian, trustee, or both, or neither after reviewing the application. Depending on the surrounding circumstances and complexities of the application, the Court may grant an Order solely based on a desk application or after a hearing is scheduled.

Please speak with one of our Alberta Guardianship and Trusteeship Lawyers, who can assist with all forms of applications to our courts.

Wondering how to create an enduring power of attorney? Let Edmonton Law Office and their skilled team of Wills and Estates lawyers help you take care of the details. Contact us today for assistance.

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