A Power of Attorney is a legal document that grants someone else the power to act on your behalf for legal and financial matters while you are alive. However, if you become incapable of managing your affairs and do not have a Power of Attorney in place, the consequences can be severe.
In British Columbia, if you become incapable and there is no Power of Attorney in place, a person may need to be appointed by the court as a committee to manage your affairs. A committee is a legal guardian appointed by the court, who has the authority to make decisions on your behalf.
The process of appointing a committee can be time-consuming and costly. It requires a petition to the court, medical evidence of your incapacity, and a hearing before a judge. There are also ongoing costs associated with committeeship, including legal fees, reporting requirements, and potentially ongoing supervision by the Public Guardian and Trustee.
The person appointed as your committee may not be someone you would have chosen yourself. Instead, the court will appoint someone who they deem to be in your best interests, which may not align with your wishes or values.
Furthermore, if there is a dispute over who should be appointed as your committee, it can result in lengthy court proceedings and additional legal costs.
In conclusion, not having a Power of Attorney in place can lead to a variety of consequences if you become incapable of managing your affairs. Committeeship can be a costly, time-consuming, and potentially contentious process that may result in someone other than your preferred choice managing your affairs. By having a Power of Attorney in place, you can ensure that your legal and financial matters are managed by someone you trust and who has your best interests at heart.
If you have questions about Power of Attorney or would like to book an appointment to have one prepared, please reach out to us by phone at 604-824-5500 (Chilliwack) or 604-855-7228 (Abbotsford), or by email at email@example.com.