Preparing your POAs is very critical.
Preparation of Power of Attorney – Financial Care
Many people believe that a Will is the only legal document they need. They don’t think of the possibility that they could become incapacitated due to illness or accident and need their affairs managed on their behalf.
Many people believe that their spouse can automatically assume the responsibility. However, without a Power of Attorney, any accounts that are not jointly held cannot be accessed by your spouse.
Most people believe that if you were to become mentally or physically incapacitated, your family can simply act on your behalf. In fact, without a court order or a Power of Attorney, they could not manage your financial affairs (Quebec has different regulations).
So a power of attorney for financial affairs is strongly recommended.
Preparation of Power of Attorney – Personal/Medical Care
It provides instructions regarding your medical care if you were to become incapacitated. It can also indicate the type of medical treatment you may or may not wish to receive.
If you were to suddenly become incapacitated and you did not have a power of attorney, your family would have to apply to the courts to have someone appointed to manage your affairs. This could be an expensive and lengthy process, often taking weeks or even months. Having a power of attorney avoids these expenses and delays.
Simply put, a power of attorney for personal/medical care is an essential part of every estate plan.