A Power of Attorney for Property appoints one or more persons to manage your property/assets. This person is typically referred to as your “Attorney”. While this individual is referred to as an “Attorney”, they are not required to be a lawyer.
Your appointed Attorney has the power to take control of, preserve and disburse your property/assets as is necessary. An Attorney for Property is required to act in your best interests and is obligated to account for the management of your property/assets.
The authority to act may be expansive or limited, depending on the terms included in your Power of Attorney document.
Even though you may not need someone to manage your property today, in the event that you become incapable of managing your property and you have not appointed an Attorney for Property through a Power of Attorney, the Public Guardian and Trustee for Ontario will, by default, become responsible to take control of your property on your behalf.
If family members or friends then wish to assist you to manage your property, they will have to apply to the Ontario Superior Court to be appointed as your Statutory Guardian for Property (see Guardianship Applications).
Ensuring that you have appointed a trustworthy person or persons to assist you to manage your property is vital to ensuring that your affairs are looked after, when you can no longer look after yourself.