Seniors Outreach - September 19, 2018

Continuing to provide reminders about what would be helpful for those who are Seniors to pay attention to, last week I discussed the Personal Directive. As we continue living, the follow up to your social/accommodation/health concerns under a Personal Directive is the area of Finances. Financial concerns are under the purview of a Power of Attorney (POA).

Why You Do You Need An Enduring Power of Attorney?

An Enduring Power of Attorney allows you to prepare for a time when you may become ill or suffer a disability and as a result become unable to manage your own financial and related legal affairs.

What Are the Requirements To Make An Enduring Power of Attorney?

As a best case scenario the following would be most helpful.

Contact Seniors Outreach for a brief review of and obtaining of questions regarding the POA.

Sit down and answer a list of questions related to the Power of Attorney. This may be done at home with/without spouse, family, and/or a trusted friend.

Choose an Attorney (name given to a spouse/family/trusted friend/ financial institution/etc. who will execute your POA when it is needed).

Find a lawyer that you trust and sit down with him/her to review the answers that you have already come up with and have the lawyer prepare the final draft.

You may choose to enact the Enduring POA upon final signature OR indicate that it is to take effect on your mental incapacity or infirmity when declared by those YOU have chosen to enact it in the future.

Sign the final copy(s) in the presence of the witnesses at the lawyer’s office (generally should have two witnesses).

Provide an original copy for yourself, your attorney and possibly your lawyer.

Who Should You Choose As Your Attorney?

The attorney should be someone that you TRUST and are CONFIDENT will act in YOUR best interest. Your attorney should also have some knowledge and experience to be able to deal with your property and finances. It is also important to ask the attorney beforehand to ensure that they are willing and able to accept such an appointment.

NOTE: If you are considering appointing a financial institution or a professional, you will want to ensure that you are aware of any fees that they may charge.

Any adult or financial institution can be appointed to act as an attorney.

The attorney appointed technically does not have to live in Alberta, however, if being near your location is important in dealing with your affairs, an outside-the-province attorney may present some difficulties.

You can appoint a first choice, a second choice, and/or a third choice for an attorney(s) or you may even choose to split the attorney activities between two or three people.

NOTE: The Public Trustee/Guardian cannot act as an attorney. [Source: Office of the Public Guardian/Trustee - https://www.alberta.ca/enduring-power-of-attorney.aspx ]

Seniors Outreach is available to help you get started down this road with a number of questions that should be addressed before involving a lawyer. Our encouragement is to do this with legal support as the property and financial concerns have grown over the last few years and some complications may ensue if the POA is not properly done.

Further to this, a Seniors Outreach Monthly Information Meeting will be held on September 20, 2018, at which Robert Stoltz, a representative of the Alberta Office of the Public Guardian will present on Supported Decision-making, Personal Directives and Guardianship/Trusteeship at the following locations/times in Kneehill County in partnership with the local Seniors Centres.

10:00 a.m. at the CommUnity Drop-In Centre – Three Hills

2:00 p.m. at the Silver Willows Centre – Torrington

6:00 p.m. for a potluck and at 6:45 p.m. for the presentation at the 50+ Club, Care & Share Centre - Linden

Please attend with your questions and gain some further understanding about this most important document.

You may also be interested in a Trip to the Calgary Zoo (come see the Pandas!!!) on Friday, September 21, 2018. Contact Seniors Outreach to put your name on the list, to find out costs and make your payment, and from where and the time that the bus will be leaving.