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Care for your loved ones.

Protect your assets.

Create an estate plan.

Wills and Estates

Power of attorneys.

Constituting a valid power of attorney:

The Power of Attorney must be signed and dated by the grantor and witnessed by two independent witnesses.

The following cannot act as witnesses:

  • Grantor’s spouse or partner;
  • Grantor’s child or someone whom you treat as your own child;
  • Anyone under the age of 18;
  • Anyone who has a “Guardian of Person” whereby someone has been appointed by a court to make personal care decisions for them due to the fact that they are not mentally capable of making their own decisions; or
  • The designated attorney under the power of attorney.

Additionally, the grantor must be of sound mind, or in other words “mentally capable” when the grantor granted the authority to an attorney at the time of execution.

Protect the Document

The Power of Attorney is not registered with any courts or any public database. Generally speaking, at our office, power of attorneys are executed in triplicates whereby you will provide a copy to your power attorneys, a copy for yourself and our office will maintain one original, in the event you are unable to locate your originals.  We recommend that these documents be kept in a secure location, yet easily accessible by your power of attorney. For example, you may not want to keep it in a safety deposit box if you are the only one authorized to access the box.

It is possible that the power of attorney may be required to provide an original executed power of attorney for an action to be authorized prior to dealing with an attorney in place of the grantor to prevent fraud.

We recommend using guidelines to draft Powers of Attorney as a way to ensure the designated attorney fully understands the authority granted upon him or her.  Examples of such guidelines include ;

  1. Instructions should be clear and concise.   Terminology and phrases such “I don’t want to be “hooked up to a machine” should be avoided.  Medical machines can be used in temporary situations to assist in breathing during emergency surgery.  Clear instructions should be given so various chances of survival are not unintentionally ruled out.
  1. Different degrees of illnesses and conditions. There are different degrees of illnesses and diseases with various treatment options availableFor example when you suffer from a mild stroke you can still lead a somewhat comfortable life as opposed to a severe stroke where you may become totally dependent on someone else and no longer make decisions for yourself.
  1. Medication instructions. Take great care when providing instructions regarding medications.  Science is rapidly transforming the medical field for example; you may be diagnosed with a serious infection which could lead to death but could also be easily treated with an antibiotic so be mindful of the treatment options that may be available.