In Ontario, there are two general kinds of Powers of Attorney: a continuing (or springing) Power of Attorney for property and a Power of Attorney for personal care. Appointing an Attorney for property and personal care is an integral part of any estate plan. Unlike a Will, Power of Attorney documents are for use when the grantor is still alive; an Attorney loses the authority to act upon the death of the grantor. In Ontario, Powers of Attorney are governed by the Substitute Decisions Act (see Disagreements Over Capacity).
The appointment of Attorneys for property and personal care is often part of deep emotional concerns and competing philosophies among family members. Often, short of a successful mediation, the options for resolving disagreements rest in Court. Litigation over the validity of the Power or the conduct of the Attorney may be lengthy and costly. However, if an Attorney is considered to be abusing the authority, our Courts will exercise their jurisdiction to interfere, including revoking the Power and removing the Attorney.
The law and processes that apply to Powers of Attorney can be complicated and professional advice is recommended. If an out of court solution leading to the desired result is available, we have the experience to find it. If litigation is required, we have the team to provide efficient and cost conscious representation.