5. Put your Power of Attorney in writing

Here are 3 ways to make a :

  1. Use Power of Attorney Guided Pathway
  2. Use a Power of Attorney kit. You can get a free one from the Ministry of the Attorney General. There are others you can buy online or at stores. But be sure the kit is based on the law in Ontario. Each province and territory has its own laws about Powers of Attorney.
  3. Use a lawyer. This will cost more but the lawyer will make sure that your Power of Attorney follows the law.
Power of Attorney Guided Pathway
Power of Attorney Guided Pathway

Use this interview to make a power of attorney.

Sign it

You must sign your Power of Attorney in front of 2 witnesses. The witnesses must also sign. And all 3 of you have to be together for the whole process.

Because of COVID-19, it can be difficult to have your witnesses in the same place as you when you sign your Power of Attorney. In response, the Law Society of Ontario (LSO) has said that when it’s not possible to witness a document in person, it can be done by video conference.

The LSO has a Remote Commissioning Checklist that explains how to do this.

The witnesses can be anyone except:

  • your or partner, child, or someone you treat as your child, such as a stepchild that you have not adopted but who you support
  • your attorney or your attorney’s spouse or partner
  • someone who’s under the age of 18

Keep it safe

You do not have to register your Power of Attorney with the government or anywhere else.

It’s important to put your Power of Attorney somewhere safe and let your attorney know where to find it. Give them a copy. Usually, your attorney will not be able to start acting for you until they have the original or notarized copy of your Power of Attorney. A notarized copy is a copy that has been certified as a true copy of the original.

Make copies and tell people who your attorney is

It’s a good idea to make copies of your Power of Attorney. Keep track of how many copies you make and who you give those copies to.

Think about telling family members who your attorney is. This can help avoid surprises and family tensions.

It’s a good idea to give your lawyer, doctor, and other health-care providers the contact information for your attorney. And let them know if that information changes. 

You may also want to give your attorney a list of your health-care professionals.  

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