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Vancouver Estate Administration And Litigation Blog

Power of attorney abuse, and where to turn for support

When you grant someone power of attorney rights, you likely make the choice by how much you trust the individual. Unfortunately, there have been instances when that choice hasn't been an ideal one and the chosen individual misuses and/or abuses his or her powers. If you find yourself dealing with an abusive attorney, there are things you can do to try to rectify the situation.

If you discover your attorney is being abusive by way of your finances, property or anything else of value, you may need the assistance of the court to recoup any lost assets. A POA is in effect until you either revoke it, you pass away or if you are no longer able to make decisions that allow you to provide guidance to your attorney - unless of course you have an enduring POA.

When adults need guardians

When older loved ones can no longer make decisions for themselves, you might have to step up to the plate and do so for them. As some people grow older, they experience memory loss, which could make decision-making difficult for them. Some forms of disability or injury could also increase the likelihood of some adults needing guardians.

Getting the court to appoint you as a guardian could be time-consuming and potentially costly. If you are already the power of attorney for your loved one, you could already be in a position to help. The Ontario Health Care Consent Act stipulates when relatives can make certain decisions for their incapacitated loved ones.

Beware of the challenges of being an executor of an estate

When a loved one or a trusted friend in British Columbia asks you to be the executor of his or her estate, it is a great honour. It shows that he or she regards you as a trustworthy person who will be able to handle the necessary tasks to close the estate. These include the collection of assets, settlement of debts, filing of the necessary tax returns and the distribution to the beneficiaries.

However, be aware that you have a choice if you are asked to be an executor, and the acceptance of the appointment is up to you. It is important to understand the challenges you will have to face before you give your approval to take on the responsibility.