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Acting Under a Power of Attorney — One Big Mistake I see All the Time

estate administration how longI remember meeting with Michael (not his real name) in my Ottawa, Ontario, office not long after he’d moved his mom into long-term care.   She was suffering from dementia which had advanced quite quickly.   As she could no longer manage her financial affairs, Michael had been acting under the financial Power of Attorney (POA) his mom had signed  years ago.

Michael had heard that the best thing to do to avoid probate fees was to make all of his mom’s assets joint with himself. However he decided to have a meeting with me before making any changes.

I explained to Michael why changing assets to joint ownership is a big mistake when done while acting under a Power of Attorney.  If he had gone ahead and made those changes he could have been in a lot of trouble.   We discussed his duties and responsibilities while acting as POA for his mother and I gave him practical advice and tips for making the job easier.  By following my advice,  Michael  would also have answers if he was challenged later.

It was great that Michael was wise enough to get advice in advance.  Unfortunately, I more often meet with clients who, even though they had the best of intentions, didn’t know what they should or should not be doing while acting under a Power of Attorney and have gotten into serious trouble.  One client had to mortgage her house to come up $150,000 to fix a mistake that could easily have been avoided had she known what to do in advance.

It is because of these clients that I have created a full-day, hands-on workshop for anyone acting under a Power of Attorney for Property or who may soon be acting. Workshop participants will leave with a full understanding of the role of acting under a Power of Attorney, the duties and responsibilities, how to calculate compensation, and so much more. Practical tips and take-home materials that I’ll provide will have participants well on their way to confidently acting under a Power of Attorney.

This is a unique opportunity and not to be missed by anyone acting under a Power of Attorney or about to take on the role. Click here to register online or call us at 613-836-9915, ext 230.


Reproduction of this blog is permitted if the author is credited.  If you have questions or if you would like more information, please call us at 613 836-9915. This blog is not intended to be legal advice but contains general information.  Please consult a lawyer or other professional to determine how the information in this blog might apply to you.

Blog posts pre-dated December 1, 2015 were originally published under Neff Law Office Professional Corporation.

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