Tips for Choosing Power of Attorney

senior couple look over papers with lawyer

Posted by heritagelaw on Nov 1, 2023 in Blog, Wills & Estate

Choosing a power of attorney is a crucial healthcare decision that should not be taken lightly.

Power of attorney is an integral part of estate planning, ensuring that your healthcare and financial matters are managed according to your wishes when you are unable to do so yourself.

Understanding the types of power of attorney, the responsibilities, and the characteristics to look for in a potential candidate is essential.

If you’re not sure how to choose a power of attorney in Alberta, Heritage Law is here to guide you through the process of selecting the right power of attorney and help you make an informed decision regarding your healthcare wishes.

Let’s get started:

Types of Power of Attorney in Alberta

When it comes to preparing for the future, understanding the different types of power of attorney in Alberta is paramount.

By knowing the options available, you can make an informed decision that best aligns with your specific needs and preferences.

Personal Directive

A Personal Directive is a powerful legal document that allows you to appoint an individual, known as an agent, to make decisions on your behalf when you are unable to do so. This type of power of attorney focuses on personal matters, particularly related to your healthcare and well-being.

When you grant someone the authority through a Personal Directive, they can make critical decisions about your medical treatment, living arrangements, and personal care.

For instance, your appointed agent can consult with healthcare professionals and make choices regarding life-sustaining treatments, surgeries, and medications.

They also have the responsibility of determining where you will reside, whether in your own home or in a long-term care facility.

Personal Directives grant them the authority to ensure that your personal preferences and values are respected, even when you are unable to express them yourself.

Enduring Power of Attorney

An Enduring Power of Attorney, on the other hand, focuses on the financial and legal aspects of your life. This legal document authorizes an agent of your choice to manage your property, finances, and legal affairs should you become incapacitated.

This means that if you are unable to handle your financial responsibilities due to illness, injury, or other reasons, your appointed agent can step in and make decisions on your behalf.

Under an Enduring Power of Attorney, your agent can pay bills, taxes, and debts, as well as manage your bank accounts, investments, and real estate.

They can also represent you in legal matters, including signing contracts and dealing with legal disputes.

This type of power of attorney is vital for ensuring that your financial matters are handled competently and according to your preferences, even when you are unable to do so personally.

What Can My Power of Attorney Do?

The role of a power of attorney in Alberta is multifaceted, carrying significant responsibilities. It’s essential to have a clear understanding of what your chosen individual can and cannot do on your behalf.

Let’s take a look at the specific duties and decision-making authority granted to a power of attorney in Alberta:

For Personal Directives

When it comes to personal directives, your power of attorney can make healthcare decisions on your behalf, such as medical treatments and procedures.

They can also choose your place of residence, including long-term care facilities or hospice care, and determine the selection of caregivers and support services.

For Enduring Power of Attorney

In the case of an enduring power of attorney, your power of attorney can manage your financial assets, including bank accounts, investments, and real estate.

They will also be able to pay bills, taxes, and debts on your behalf.

Your power of attorney can also make legal decisions, such as signing contracts and handling legal disputes.

Characteristics to Look for in a Power of Attorney

Selecting the right person to be your power of attorney is a pivotal decision. To ensure the smooth execution of your healthcare and financial affairs, it’s important to identify specific qualities and traits in your chosen representative. 

Here are the essential characteristics that make an individual a suitable candidate for this significant role:

  • Trustworthy: Your power of attorney should be someone you trust implicitly with your healthcare and financial decisions. This individual should have your best interests at heart and be committed to honoring your wishes.
  • Responsible: Look for someone who is responsible, organized, and capable of managing both personal and financial matters efficiently. They should be detail-oriented and able to make decisions in your best interest.
  • Communication Skills: Effective communication is essential, as your power of attorney will need to work closely with medical professionals, legal experts, and family members to ensure your wishes are carried out.
  • Availability: Choose someone who is readily available to fulfill their role. In case of emergencies, your power of attorney must be accessible and responsive.
  • Legal and Financial Knowledge: If appointing an Enduring Power of Attorney, it is beneficial to select someone with a good understanding of legal and financial matters to make informed decisions on your behalf.
  • Compassionate: A compassionate power of attorney will be sensitive to your needs and preferences, ensuring your dignity and well-being are maintained during difficult times.

Ready to Begin Planning Your Power of Attorney?

Selecting a power of attorney in Alberta is a critical decision that involves understanding the types of power of attorney available, their responsibilities, and the characteristics to look for in a potential candidate.

By making an informed choice, you can ensure that your healthcare and financial matters are in capable hands and your wishes are respected when you are unable to make decisions on your own.

Remember, it’s crucial to discuss your choice with your prospective power of attorney to ensure they are willing to take on this important responsibility.

Contact Heritage Law today for expert guidance and legal assistance in creating your power of attorney documents.

Our experienced professionals are here to help you make the right choices for your unique situation.

Your future deserves the care and attention Heritage Law can provide.