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Posted on September 29, 2022 by Nat Olsson in Featured, Wills & Estate Law Do you know why it is a good idea to have a Power of Attorney document, in addition to a will, and a representation agreement for medical decisions on your behalf? You could be out of town when trying to sell real estate, and want to have someone you trust sign the transfer and other documents on your behalf. More importantly, you might lose your mental capacity for making such financial transactions because of dementia, or other debilitating medical conditions. If you do not appoint an attorney you trust to carry out these financial transactions and manage your finances for you, one will need to be appointed by the court.

Otherwise, the power to control your finances will fall to a government agency, the Public Guardian and Trustee, whose attention to your affairs might not live up to your expectations. The cost to your family and friends of a private application to the court in order to appoint a decision-maker, called a Private Committee, will be many thousands of dollars, as opposed to the cost of signing a Power of Attorney document for a small fraction of that. The committeeship court application required can take many months, during which time your care and well-being could be affected, and your family could suffer needless anxiety and financial loss. Before a lawyer is able to take your signature on a Power of Attorney document, he or she will have to assess your mental competence. You will need to know and be able to demonstrate to the lawyer the property you own and its approximate value, the financial commitments you have made to support others, and your understanding that the attorney you choose to appoint is a trusted person whom you can nonetheless remove from service if you wish. You should create this Power of Attorney while it is still clear that you possess the required awareness of your needs.


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