4 Ways Having a Power of Attorney Can Improve Estate Planning

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4 Ways Having a Power of Attorney Can Improve Estate Planning

Thinking about what life could look like if you were to become incapacitated and unable to make financial decisions is uncomfortable, but it truly is a gift to your family and the legacy you will leave them. You’ve worked hard for what you have and you want to ensure that your estate is well taken care of if you are unable to make those decisions for yourself.  Appointing a Power of Attorney ensures that your estate is cared for and your finances and investments are managed under the authority of someone you have chosen and whom you trust.

Follow along as we discuss the benefits of consulting with a family lawyer about appointing a Power of Attorney for your estate.

Taking Care of Your Loved Ones Through Estate Planning

We know it’s not easy thinking about the effects on your family if something were to happen to you, but planning for these unfortunate circumstances is one of the best ways you can take care of those you love. Having your estate details laid out clearly and thoughtfully, through a lawyer, provides many benefits such as:

  • Clarity. There is nothing worse than a family torn apart by what to do after the passing of a loved one. Providing a clear plan for your estate, drawn up by a family lawyer, clearly outlines the next steps for the people you care most about during what can be a traumatic and challenging time.
  • Protection. If you have children, having a will in place ensures that they are taken care of the way you would want them to be, if you are no longer able to care for them yourself. Don’t leave these important decisions to the courts.
  • Less Conflict. Things can get uncomfortable and messy during times of stress, and sadness. Having a proper estate plan in place with the executor of your choosing will allow for less disagreements between the family after you pass on.

Protect those you care about most by creating a directive for how things are to be taken care of if the unthinkable were to happen. It’s of the utmost importance to make and record these important decisions, and their accompanying documents, with a seasoned professional who practices family law.

Our team at Ellis Legal Group provides estate services that will help you sleep well at night- knowing that you have provided the ultimate gift for those you love. Reach out today to connect with our diligent and proficient lawyers to plan your will.

How a Power of Attorney Benefits Your Estate Planning

Should you ever be unable to make decisions for yourself, assigning someone as Power of Attorney (POA), through a personal directive, to your estate provides your family, investments and finances, with some added security. A power of attorney is able to act on your behalf for any day-to-day financial and banking duties, and on any other alternative directives as listed in the Power of Attorney document. Some benefits of having a Power of Attorney are:

  • Your power of attorney is legally obligated to act in your best interest. Their duties are to manage finances and make important decisions should you be unable to do so for yourself.
  • You can limit your Power of Attorney. This document is customized to you and your situation. You can ensure that there are limitations in place to protect you and your estate.
  • You can choose a professional as your Power of Attorney should you have complex finances or investments that need to be properly handled. Although this will most likely have fees associated with the services, a professional can help ensure that your estate is handled properly.
  • You can have more than one Power of Attorney. This can sometimes become complicated if your two POAs disagree on matters, but the added protection of having more than one means that you have two sets of eyes on your assets, reducing the risk of fraudulent activity.

Every province has their own rules and regulations around Power of Attorney. Working closely with a family lawyer will ensure that your personal directive is completed according to the law in Alberta. Our team at Ellis Legal Group in Calgary can help you navigate this important part of your estate planning.

Ellis Legal Group: Your Experts in Calgary Family Law

Granting someone you trust Power of Attorney does not mean you are giving up your rights to make decisions for yourself. As long as you are mentally capable, your estate and financial decisions are yours to make on your own.

Some misconceptions about Power of Attorney directives are:

  • A Power of Attorney cannot make changes to your will and estate plans for you.
  • Your Power of Attorney does not own your finances. In actuality they make decisions for you on your behalf.
  • Financial Power of Attorney directives does not give someone control over your health or personal care.
  • Your POA does not have complete control. In fact, creating a specific directive with an experienced family lawyer can ensure that the proper controls are in place to protect you and your estate.

Through Ellis Legal Group’s Estate Planning Services you can rest assured your family, and your estate, are in competent hands. Let us help you navigate the complex world of family law in Calgary, Alberta with your best interest at the forefront of all our decisions.


Q: What happens if I don’t have a Power of Attorney?

A: If you lose the capacity to make decisions for yourself, and you do not have a Power of Attorney in place, someone who cares about you will have to go to court to apply to become an appointed trustee. Not only does this cost them time and money, it also removes any chance for decision making beforehand. Appointing a Power of Attorney through a directive well in advance of ever needing one puts the ball in your court as you can outline all details such as:

  • Do you want to appoint one, or more, Power of Attorneys?
  • Do you want to have a successor in place?
  • Do you want to limit the control, or access, your Power of Attorney has?

Q: What are the types of Power of Attorney (POA)?

A: In Alberta, there are four type of POA:

  • Limited: A limited power of attorney allows you to authorize someone you trust to make legal decisions on your behalf. The POA can act on behalf of you under specific and clearly defined circumstances.
  • General: A general POA essentially allows someone of your choosing to manage your financial affairs with very few restrictions. 
  • Enduring: This is the least restrictive type of Power of Attorney. It allows you to define the scope of power that you give your attorney to manage your affairs. The attorney is also given more extensive authority so they can take care of your finances and estate should you need them to.
  • Durable: A durable POA means that the document stays in effect if you become unable to handle your affairs on your own.

Q: When does the Power of Attorney begin?

A: POA begins on either a specific date, as set in the personal directive, or after the occurrence of an event that leaves the estate owner unable to handle their personal affairs due to disability or after being no longer considered of sound mind. If there is no date listed Power of Attorney can also begin immediately upon creation and execution of the directive.


Our Practice is Dedicated to Family Law

Our Practice is Dedicated to Family Law

Let us be your greatest asset during times of family transition. Ellis Legal Group takes a client-centered approach by educating our clients on family law, guiding you through a range of legal options, and customizing solutions to meet your unique needs. Being client-centered also means we do everything in a caring and supportive manner and with the utmost professionalism and integrity. Serving Calgary, Okotoks and surrounding areas.

Get Started Today With a Free Consultation

Divorce, separation, entering a marriage or common-law relationship, and planning your estate are significant, and sometimes traumatic, life transitions. Let us provide you with the information and support you need to plan for your best future. 

Call us at (403) 879-1635 and book your free consultation today.

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