Power of attorney: what you need to know - Carelancer
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Power of attorney: what you need to know

November 9th 2022
It's never easy to consider a situation where a loved one may be unable to make decisions for themselves. And yet, there is a point when it's prudent to plan ahead and ensure that you're looking out for your loved one's well-being, both presently and in the future. This is where having a power of attorney can be particularly beneficial as it gives you the legal authority to help manage care for someone else.

What is a power of attorney?

A power of attorney (POA) is a legal document that allows an individual (the grantor or principal) to appoint another person (the “agent” or “attorney-in-fact”) to act on their behalf in specific situations or for certain tasks. The agent, in this case, is authorized to make decisions and take actions on behalf of the grantor, who may be incapacitated, unavailable, or prefer to delegate decision-making authority to someone they trust.

A power of attorney can be created for various purposes, including health, finances, and legal affairs. For example, a health POA is used to grant the agent the authority to make medical decisions on behalf of the grantor in case the grantor becomes unable to make decisions for themselves. A financial POA, on the other hand, authorizes the agent to make financial decisions and manage the grantor's assets and finances. A legal POA, also known as a general power of attorney, gives the agent the authority to act on behalf of the grantor in legal matters.

When a grantor gives someone power of attorney, they are not entirely giving up all rights or control. The POA can be tailored to meet the grantor's specific needs, specifying what decisions the agent can make, how long the POA is valid, and any limitations or conditions that the agent must follow. Additionally, the grantor can revoke a power of attorney at any time, as long as they are still capable of making decisions.

Grantors are also protected by law when giving someone a power of attorney. The agent is required to act in the best interest of the grantor and must avoid conflicts of interest. The grantor can also appoint more than one agent, specify how they should work together, and even require that they agree before making certain decisions. Moreover, the agent is accountable for their actions and can be held legally responsible if they breach their fiduciary duty to the grantor.

Ultimately, a power of attorney is a legal instrument that grants an individual the authority to act as a representative of the grantor in particular circumstances, such as health, financial, or legal matters. 

This legal document can significantly assist the grantor when they are incapacitated or unavailable to make decisions, while also offering them safeguards and influence over their affairs. It is a highly useful tool for delegating decision-making responsibilities to a trusted individual, thereby relieving the grantor of undue stress and burden.

Why is a power of attorney so important?

In Canada, one in four adults are caregivers to their loved ones. That’s 25% of the Canadian population. Yet despite this surprisingly high number,  those who are helping their loved ones find the proper care seldom have been granted power of attorney, meaning that they cannot legally make healthcare decisions on behalf of their loved ones. Having a power of attorney in place at these critical moments can be a huge relief, and great comfort, for both you and your loved one.

With a power of attorney, you will be able to legally manage your loved one’s appointments and care decisions. And Carelancer helps make this process a whole lot smoother. The Carelancer app makes it easy to manage your loved one’s appointments, no matter your location, and regardless of the services your loved one needs. 

A power of attorney works both ways. You can breathe easy knowing that you have the legal capacity to make important healthcare decisions for your loved one, while your loved one can have peace of mind knowing that their affairs are being managed by someone they trust.

Does Carelancer Require a Power Of Attorney?

Carelancer does not require you to upload a power of attorney. However, when you set up the account for someone other than yourself and request services, you will be required to attest that you are in fact authorized to act on behalf of the person you seeking to arrange care for. 

Powers of Attorney Q&As - LawDepot: https://www.lawdepot.ca/contracts/power-of-attorney-form/