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The Power in Powers of Attorneys

April 21, 2012

According to a CBC news article published in February 2010, Canadians over 65 can expect to live longer due to medical strides against diseases that affect older people. On average, a 65 year old man can expect to live another 18.1 years, with people in British Columbia showing the longest life expectancy in Canada at 81.2. Older Canadians can plan their retirement and other needs knowing they can live longer.

We expect that we will be able to make our own decisions throughout our lives. But, our ability to make decisions will change, especially as we age. Unfortunately, one in five Canadians believes they know of a senior who might be experiencing some form of abuse. Financial abuse is the most commonly reported type of elder abuse. No one should be pressured, forced or tricked into giving money.

Personal planning is important to ensure that your wishes will be respected should a time come when you need assistance or must reply on someone else to make decisions for you. This also prevents the government or others you would not want from becoming involved in your personal and private affairs. Personal planning lets you stay in control.

In British Columbia, an enduring power of attorney (EPOA) allows you to give legal authority to someone you trust to manage your legal and financial affairs if you are no longer capable of making your own decisions. Financial affairs can include paying bills, doing your banking, even looking after your financial responsibilities to your dependents.

You can make an EPOA as specific or as broad as you want. You can also specify when it takes effect.

Careful planning with trained professionals will give you peace of mind.



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