When should you get a power of attorney?
A power of attorney (POA) for property, or mandate in Quebec, is a legal document in which you appoint an individual to manage your financial affairs if you lose the ability to do so. It’s easy to put off. After all, dementia typically occurs later in life. When you’re of a healthy mind, what’s the rush?
If you don’t already have a POA, here are three reasons why getting one sooner is better than later.
First, being of a healthy mind is when you want to act. You’re not legally able to sign the document if you have a cognitive impairment, which is a risk you take by continually delaying the task.
Second, sooner is better than later because you can suffer a cognitive decline at any age from an illness, stroke or injury.
Third, some people don’t get a power of attorney because they believe their spouse could simply take over their financial matters. But that’s not true. Without a power of attorney, your spouse would need to apply to the courts to be approved as your representative.
There are many things to consider during the estate planning process; be sure to include choosing a POA in the steps to completing your estate plan.