At common law, a person called a donor can appoint someone as his or her attorney to manage their financial affairs. Under Alberta’s Powers of Attorney Act ,an individual may sign an enduring power of attorney that allows a donor to choose a person or person’s to look after the donor’s legal and financial affairs both before and after the donor becomes incapable of doing so, depending on how the document is written.
In order for an enduring Power of Attorney to be valid, it must be in writing, be dated and signed by the donor in presence of a witness; be signed by the witness in presence of a donor; contain a statement when the document comes into effect; not be signed on behalf of the donor, by a person named as an attorney or the spouse or an adult interdependent partner of the person named as the attorney; and not be witnessed by the named attorney, their spouse or partner, the spouse or partner of the donor or the spouse or partner of the person that signs on behalf of the donor.
Often a donor includes their attending physician in order to make a determination of capacity that may trigger the document.
We have had instances where these documents are being considered at the 11th hour (after an accident, sudden loss of health, or other changes in the life of the donor). Besides capacity, it is crucial to determine that the donor is not under undue influence from their friends and family and being coerced into signing the document.
In order to begin drafting your Power of Attorney, please contact one of our will and estates lawyers.
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