B.A., LL.B., J.D., M.B.A.
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Powers of Attorney in Ontario
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What is a Power of Attorney?
In Ontario, a Power of Attorney is a legal document that designates an individual (known as an
)to act on behalf of a person in respect of their property or personal care. T
he word “attorney” does not mean
that the person is or becomes a lawyer. They are simply the person appointed as such and nothing more.There are two kinds of powers of attorney: those concerned with property and those concerned with personalcare. Everyone should have powers of attorney to make sure that their financial and personal affairs arecapable of being looked after when they become unable to look after those things themselves. Remember:when you die, your Powers of Attorney are terminated and your
(if you have one) takes effect.
What is a Power of Attorney for Personal Care?
is a legal document made under the
Substitute Decisions Act, 1992
wherein a person names another person (i.e. the attorney) and usually a substitute person (i.e. a substituteattorney who makes decisions in case the attorney cannot or will not) who will have authority to makepersonal
care decisions on the former person’s behalf.
Personal care includes health care, nutrition, shelter,clothing, hygiene, and safety.
Importantly, the terms of one’s
(a document which indicates yourfinal wishes concerning your medical treatment when you are no longer able to communicate, and which isdiscussed below) can be incorporated into your Power of Attorney for Personal Care. Unlike Living Wills,Powers of Attorney for Personal Care are legal documents which CAN be enforced. Keep in mind that yourPower of Attorney for Personal Care only applies while you are alive (unlike a Last Will and Testament,which applies after you die).Overall, it is best to speak with a lawyer about preparing a Power of Attorney over Personal Care. For more
information about Living Wills and Powers of Attorney in Ontario, check out these great governmentresources:1.