An Enduring Power of Attorney is a legal document in which you name someone whom you trust to take control of your financial matters when you are no longer capable of making financial decisions for yourself. Examples of this include senile dementia, Alzheimer’s, coma, serious illness, unforeseen accidents or simply old age. An Enduring Power of Attorney allows the individual you have named to make financial decisions and to carry out your financial affairs for you. The Enduring Power of Attorney ensures that your financial affairs are adequately cared for.
There are two types of Enduring Powers of Attorney. One is an “immediate” Enduring Power of Attorney and the other is a “springing” Enduring Power of Attorney. The “immediate” Enduring Power of Attorney is just that; it comes into force and effect upon the signing of it. The “springing” Enduring Power of Attorney does not take force and effect until such time as a written declaration is provided by two medical practitioners verifying that you do not have the mental capacity to make reasonable judgments about your financial matters, or in the event you are infirm and are incapable of managing your financial affairs.
If you do not have an Enduring Power of Attorney in place and something were to happen to you such that you would not be able to take care of your financial affairs, either the Public Trustee of the Government of Alberta would be appointed to handle your financial affairs or an interested individual (not necessarily whom you may wish to appoint) may make an application to the Court to be appointed your Trustee. This is a very costly and lengthy process and in the meantime, your financial affairs are left in limbo.
There are strict requirements when an Enduring Power of Attorney is drafted, particularly with respect to who is able to witness your signature, so much so that if the wrong individual witnesses your signature, the document will be deemed void and or no force and effect. Please feel free to contact AzPerLegal Services at (403) 629 5702 if you have any questions!