Choosing the person who will act on your behalf under a power of attorney is an important decision.
Any adult can act as your attorney:
- The individual acting as your “attorney” does not have to be a lawyer.
- If you live in Alberta, the attorney does not have to reside in Alberta to act on your behalf.
- An attorney can be a person, a financial institution or a combination of both.
The number one consideration is to choose someone you trust.
- You may wish to consider appointing more than one person to act as joint attorneys. Decisions must then be made unanimously.
- You should also name an alternate attorney in the event your original choice dies or becomes unavailable.
- If both you and your spouse are executing a power of attorney, it is a very good idea to use the same attorney to that there are no conflicts over authority on joint assets.
Talk to the people you would like to select and make sure they are willing to act on your behalf and that they understand the roles and responsibilities involved.
- The attorney will be making decisions that affect your financial and legal affairs – it’s a big responsibility.
- The attorney must keep accurate records.
- Upon your death, the attorney must account for all of your property and report to the personal representative of your estate
Your attorney is entitled to be reimbursed for out-of-pocket expenses. They are not entitled to other compensation unless you allow for it in your power of attorney document. If you are choosing to use a financial institution you will want to be aware of any fees that may be involved.