Powers Of Attorney For Property To Manage Financial Or Business Affairs
In Alberta, a power of attorney is a document that enables you to give a specific person (or persons) the power to make decisions on your behalf, in relation to your property. It can take effect immediately, if you want someone to be able to make decisions while you are still capable of making decisions, or it can take effect at some point in the future. Many people choose to make their power of attorney effective if or when they become incapable of making financial decisions for themselves.
Everyone should have a power of attorney, but it may be especially important for those who run a business. Our Edmonton probates and wills lawyers may provide you with more information on powers of attorney for property to manage your financial or business affairs.
Why You Need an Enduring Power of Attorney
An enduring power of attorney lets your attorney carry on making financial decisions on your behalf. If you become incapacitated without an attorney, someone will need to apply to the court to become your trustee. Not only is this process expensive and time consuming, the delays caused can be financially catastrophic - especially if you have business interests in relation to which time-sensitive decisions must be made, such as making debt payments on business assets, or paying employees.
Tasks That an Attorney May Do on Behalf of the Donor
You can give an attorney either wide-ranging or specific powers. The types of powers they will need may depend on your financial and business needs. It is important to draft your power of attorney carefully to ensure that your attorney will be capable of doing everything you need them to do.
Financial and business decisions that your attorney can make include:
- - signing cheques, including paycheques for your employees;
- - buying or selling property;
- - borrowing money;
- - using your property for your care and maintenance and that of your spouse or children
- - hiring professionals for advice (for example, lawyers or accountants);
- - filing your income taxes, making tax remittances on behalf of you or your business, and making tax-related decisions; and
- - managing or selling business interests and investments.
Tasks that an attorney cannot do
Your attorney cannot:
- - make or change a will on your behalf;
- - make or change a power of attorney or personal directive on your behalf; or
- - add, remove or change a named beneficiary on an RRSP, insurance policy or pension plan.
Despite the fact that your attorney can use your property to pay for your care, your attorney does not have the power to make decisions about what that care entails. Personal decisions, such as where you will live and who will provide you with any necessary care, are made by the agent named in your personal directive. Should you choose, this may, however, be the same person you appoint as your attorney in your enduring power of attorney.
Contact Our Edmonton Probates and Wills Lawyers Today for a Consultation
Even a short period of incapacity could put your business at risk. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with our Edmonton probates and wills lawyers, and discuss any questions you may have about powers of attorney for property to manage financial or business affairs.
*Please note that this article is intended as a general overview on the subject of probates and wills law, and does not constitute legal advice. For legal advice, please consult with a probates and wills lawyer.