Why do I need a Continuing Powers of Attorney?

Continuing Power of Attorney For Property

  • A Continuing Power of Attorney For Property is required while you are alive but unable to look after your financial affairs, for example, if you are in an accident or suffer a serious medical emergency.
  • The person who you appoint is called your attorney. Your attorney can be a family member or a friend.
  • Inform your attorney that he or she is your attorney in the event of you becoming incapacitated and the location of your Continuing Power of Attorney For Property.
  • Usually your lawyer will maintain the Continuing Power of Attorney For Property in his office for safekeeping.
  • Even if you own your home jointly with your spouse, your spouse is unable to sell or remortgage it without a Continuing Power of Attorney For Property signed by you before your incapacity.
  • Your lawyer will explain to you why you now need both a Continuing Power of Attorney for Property and a specific Continuing Power of Attorney with the bank that you deal with. The banks do not generally accept any other Power of Attorney except for their own. Your lawyer will make certain that these two or more Powers of Attorney for property do not conflict with one another or invalidate each other. 

Continuing Power of Attorney For Personal Care (living will)

  • If you are in an accident or suffer a serious medical emergency and you are unable to give instructions to your doctor and do not have a Continuing Power of Attorney For Personal Care, the government can step in and make decisions about your personal care.
  • A Continuing Power of Attorney For Personal Care allows the loved one or friend you name make those decisions for you.
  • A Continuing Power of Attorney For Personal Care also allows you to dictate what care or life saving efforts you wish to receive, when you may not be in a physical or mental position to be able to instruct your doctor.
  • Both or either Power of Attorney can be revoked or amended once you are able to make informed decisions about your personal care as well as informed decisions concerning your finances.

Revised March 2015