What if, before your death, you lose your cognitive abilities and are unable to manage your finances and property?
Good estate planning includes planning for the future. What if, before your death, you lose your cognitive abilities and are unable to manage your finances and property?
While you maintain your mental capacity, making your plan ensures that the legal context is in place to allow someone you trust to manage your affairs if you become mentally incapacitated through injury, age or illness. Without one, your family may be forced to go to court to obtain proper documentation to act on your behalf.
Why is it important to have an Enduring Power of Attorney?
The Province of Alberta recommends that every Albertan over the age of 18 should have an Enduring Power of Attorney. It ensures that if you become incapable of managing your affairs, the person you designate as your Enduring Power of Attorney will be able to lawfully act on your behalf. It gives them the legal authority to manage your finances and business.
People with an Enduring Power of Attorney have the same authority as the person granting them this power, known as the donor, to act or make decisions considering the maintenance, education, benefit and advancement of the donor’s children, spouse or adult interdependent partner.
Enduring Powers of Attorney are Only Valid if Prepared When you are Mentally Capable.
Although the effect of the Enduring Power of Attorney occurs when you are mentally incapacitated (unless otherwise implemented), this document must be prepared while you are coherent. You must be able to understand the meaning of the document in order for it to be valid.
This document allows you to plan and prepare for various situations.
You may name an Enduring Power of Attorney:
- To begin right away and continue when you lose mental capacity.
- To begin in the future, if and when you lose mental capacity.
You may provide more than one person to act as Enduring Powers of Attorney or set specific limits or dates on their powers. An experienced lawyer will guide you through the legalities of this document to ensure you and your loved ones are in the best situation, at the worst of times.