Enduring Power of Attorney – Selecting an Attorney

Selecting an Attorney

Common questions about choosing an Attorney

What should I consider in choosing an Attorney?

The term “Attorney” refers to the person or persons you have chosen to act on your behalf with regard to your financial affairs. The person you choose must be 18 years of age and mentally competent. Your Attorney should:

  • be honest and trustworthy;
  • be capable of doing a good job. He or she does not need to be an expert but should be capable of handling your financial affairs;
  • have the time and willingness to do the job;
  • be aware of your wishes and general intent;
  • be someone who you can depend on to always act in your best interests.

The term “Attorney” refers to the person or persons you have chosen to act on your behalf with regard to your financial affairs.

It is convenient, but not mandatory, for your Attorney to live in the same province as you do.

Can I name more than one Attorney?

You can name one Attorney or more than one. If you appoint more than one, (Co-Attorneys) you can require that they act together (“jointly”) or you can have them< act separately as well as together (“severally and jointly”). If you include this phrase, either of your Attorneys will be able to act alone on your behalf. If one is away or sick, for example, the other would still be able to sign cheques and give instructions on your behalf. If you do not indicate that they can act separately, they will have to make all decisions together. If you name more than one Attorney, you should include some way for them to resolve disputes if they arise. You should also name an alternate Attorney, who can act if your Attorney dies, or cannot for some reason act or continue to act for you. If an Attorney wants to quit, once your Enduring Power of Attorney is in effect and your Attorney begins to act, he or she must apply to the court for leave to give up the task. This is called “renouncing”. If the court grants permission, your Attorney must provide you with notice of the renunciation. If all of your Attorney, Co-Attorneys and Alternate Attorneys named in your Enduring Power of Attorney are unable or unwilling to act, your EPA will cease to have effect.

If an Attorney wants to quit after they start acting, he or she must apply to the court for leave to give up the task. This is called “renouncing”. If the court grants permission, your attorney must provide you with notice of the renunciation.

I want to name a specific family member as my Attorney but I’m worried that this will cause conflict. Is there anything I can do to prevent this?

Conflict can often be avoided by telling your family in advance of your choice of Attorney and explaining your reasons. Sometimes, conflict is created because the rest of the family does not know what your Attorney is doing with your money. You can choose to specify that your Attorney keep family members that you list informed about his or her decisions and provided with full information.

You can always name a close friend or a trust company to be your Attorney if family conflict seems unavoidable.

You should NOT rely on this webpage for legal advice. It provides general information on Alberta law only. December 2016.
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