Power of Attorney Use

QUESTION

Helen, the daughter holds a Power of Attorney (POA) from her mother Gertrude, who has been diagnosed with dementia.

Gertrude called a real estate agent to list her property and never mentioned the execution of a Power of Attorney.

How does the Power of Attorney work and when does it fall into play?

ANSWER

There are several issues to get resolved at the outset with a POA:

1) when does it start,

2) is it held in escrow by the lawyer,

3) does the donor retain the right to contract,

4) is a medical opinion of incompetence required before its use,

5) what are the ranges of medical opinions expressed,

6) to what range of assets will it apply,

7) is there a POA for personal care,

8) are there other POA’s outstanding,

9) how many Attorneys are appointed,

10) are the appointments concurrent or consecutive,

11) are there any pre-conditions to appointment,

12) where are the original documents?

You should have the answer to all these questions before proceeding. Then, you know what you’re working with. Otherwise, it’s all just guesswork.

Brian Madigan LL.B., Broker

www.OntarioRealEstateSource.com

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