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Enduring Powers of Attorney - Planning for the Unexpected

Few of us want to think that we might lose our mental capacity or how we might cope with our financial affairs if we did. An enduring Power of Attorney ensures that your interests can be attended to if you should ever become unable to do so yourself or if it should simply become inconvenient for you to do so yourself.

A Power of Attorney is a document that a person uses to appoint another person, called an attorney, to make financial and legal decisions on his or her behalf during his or her lifetime. An enduring Power of Attorney continues to have effect if the adult becomes incapable. The document must provide that the authority of the attorney continues despite the adult's incapability.

Powers of Attorney may be general in scope, allowing the attorney to make decisions on your behalf with respect to all of your financial and legal affairs, or restricted to a specific purpose. For example, you plan to be out of the country on vacation and you would like someone to handle your banking while you are away.

A Power of Attorney is effective as soon as it is signed by the adult, unless the document itself provides that the power is contingent upon a specific event. An enduring Power of Attorney continues to be effective until you revoke it or die.

You must carefully consider who to appoint as your attorney. It is important that you trust the person's honesty and judgment as this person will be in charge of your financial well-being at a time when you can't act for yourself. If you have no family member or friend that you can or want to appoint, you can appoint a respected colleague or trust company.

For more information on enduring Powers of Attorney and other estate planning matters, please contact Kim Karras or Laura Nichols at BRAWN KARRAS & SANDERSON, 604-542-5344, or kimkarras@bkslaw.com or lnichols@bkslaw.com