Garton & Harris

A power of attorney makes sense for Canadians and their parents

Planning for the future means being proactive instead of reactive. For many people, this is difficult to do. Barring an unfortunate incident, however, the fact is everyone grows old and preparing for that inevitability makes good sense. Writing a will and setting up a power of attorney are excellent examples. Unfortunately, many people in British Columbia are not ready for what's to come, even though they know they should be.

According to numbers from the CIBC, 90 percent of Canadians with parents over the age of 65 recognize the importance of discussing financial planning and caregiving with their moms and dads. However, less than two-thirds have actually done so. When it comes to themselves, 68 percent of the same group of Canadians have wills drawn up, but only 23 percent have done any financial planning for late in life, and less than half have a power of attorney prepared.

A vice-president at the CIBC believes many people are afraid to broach the subject with their parents for fear they will seem as if they only care about the money. Others may feel as if there will always be time to talk about it later. The truth is, however, that while Canadians are living longer lives, around 26 percent of people in this country die before the age of 70.

Preparing for the future is for everyone, the young and the old. It is important for men and women to understand their parents' plans, and to make plans of their own. A power of attorney can provide remarkable peace of mind for older parents and adult children alike. To make plans that will really work, it may be best to consult with a British Columbia estate lawyer.

Source:, "Retirees need to start thinking ahead", May 5, 2017

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