Posted by: Daryl & Wendy Ashby | February 7, 2010

Peace of Mind

No one really wants to talk about an Enduring Power of Attorney or a Trusteeship, but they can prevent financial problems to you or your family in the future if you consider them seriously now.

People often feel helpless as dementia reduces a spouse or parent in their ability to manage their financial affairs, but steps can be taken to minimize the damage as an individuals capacity diminishes.

RiskAnalytica, a Toronto based Consulting firm cited 1.1 million baby boomers in Canada will have Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia by 2038. This is up from the 500,000 now dealing with the disease.

While real estate and bank accounts can be set up jointly, registered retirement savings plans and income funds are more difficult. Banks are simply getting more difficult to deal with when it comes to such matters.

While you are strong enough to protect your savings, take the needed steps today so that your future will not be at risk.

Firstly get a “Power of Attorney” or a “Trusteeship Order” prepared by your lawyer or notary. A Power of Attorney is a legal document giving a competent adult or a financial institution the power to act on another person’s behalf. An Enduring Power of Attorney extends that permission after the “grantor,” has lost competency and the capacity to make informed decisions.

They can be general in terms or limited to a certain time period or certain functions, such as looking after banking, property or personal care.

If no Power of Attorney is in place, a competent person can apply to the public trustee of the province to be appointed by the courts as a legal trustee for the afflicted person. The process is complicated, requires may pages of forms, informing others of the application, waiting to see if there are objects, and then having the application heard by the courts and approved.

Taking the aggressive steps to have a Power of Attorney drafted now while you are able is much easier.

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