This document is used to authorize a person, or persons, to make financial decisions in your best interests in the event of accident or illness, or in the event that you become mentally or physically incapacitated, and unable to act for yourself.
These are important to prepare in advance. If you become incapacitated and you have not prepared a POA, the provincial government will step in and appoint one for you Besides involving delays in handling your day to day financial affairs, the person they choose may be different than the individual(s) you would have entrusted with this responsibility.
There are two types of Power of Attorney:
A Limited POA can be given to an individual(s) to act as your attorney with regard to specific assets or activities for a temporary period of time.
A General POA is given to an individual(s) to act as your attorney with regard to a wide-ranging control of your financial affairs for a temporary period of time.
An Enduring or Continuous POA is given to cover indefinite period of time covering any subsequent incapacitation, for either limited or general purposes.
These should be prepared with the assistance of a notary or lawyer and discussed with your family members.
It is important to periodically review your wills and powers of attorney as they may become outdated with the passage of time. Also, significant life changes like marriage, divorce, additions to the family, etc. will necessitate that you modify these documents to reflect your changing needs.