Focusing on the legal aspects that surround a power of attorney when someone is incapacitated or unable to make decisions for him- or herself is important. Being that person who has to make decisions comes with a lot of responsibility.
If that power of attorney is challenged, the court will step in and appoint someone to have guardianship. This is an appointment of an individual by a judge so that a person may make decisions on behalf of the incapacitated person. His or her property, assets and personal care may need to be looked after as well.
This is a serious and far-reaching appointment that can have dramatic consequences for the incapacitated person. The guardian will have complete control of all aspects of the incapacitated person's life. This can mean a rift with fellow family members and can cause general grumbling if you make a decision that doesn't agree with what the other family members like.
The person whose is declared incompetent may not like the fact that he or she has been ruled unable to make clear decisions. They may feel like you are taking advantage of them and using their assets and property for your personal gain.
You can begin to see why you may want to contact an attorney. There are lots of people who may be angry enough with you to bring this matter back before the court. While it may seem like a thankless job, you have the responsibility to see this through to the end or a better day for the incapacitated person.
The Substitute Decisions Act, or SDA, was passed in Ontario in 1992. This is the law that covers the procedural steps that are involved in applying for guardianship of property, person or both.
Getting an experienced legal representative can make all the difference if you see that a loved one is struggling and needs a person who has power of attorney to help them. Knowing the legal rights of that person and of the person who is seeking to assist a person in need of help is vital.
Source: Huffington Post Canada, "Plan Ahead: When a Power of Attorney Is Challenged," Suzana Popovic-Montag and Ian M. Hull, May. 09, 2015