Garton & Harris

Powers of attorney in British Columbia estate plans

Accidents and illnesses strike people no matter their age. When people are considering how to handle their estates and assets, they may also consider having plans in place if they become unable to make decisions for themselves or handle their own affairs. This can be an important consideration for all individuals who are over the age of 18.

People are able to draft a durable power of attorney, which is a legal document that designates another person to make decisions on behalf of the drafter. The document is normally triggered by a specified event. For example, the person may grant a durable power of attorney on a limited basis if he or she will be traveling and unable to conduct important transactions or manage his or her own affairs. Durable powers of attorney may also be utilized to grant broad authority to an agent if an illness or accident has left the grantor incapacitated.

Powers of attorney allow another to make important decisions and conduct business in order to manage the grantor's personal affairs. If a power of attorney is not in place, the person's family may be left in a position of being unable to access accounts and information necessary to carry on while their loved one is unable to make decisions.

When people are planning their financial futures, they should not overlook a power of attorney. It can be difficult to plan for an accident, but by doing so, people may put themselves, their families and their estates in better positions. People may want to discuss drafting durable powers of attorney with their estate planning lawyer. A lawyer may help draft legally sound documents that afford protection.

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