A recent Scotiabank study conducted by Nielson has shown that only 50 % of Canadians have a Will, and only 33% of Canadians have Powers of Attorney in place. There are many common misconceptions surrounding Powers of Attorney for Personal Care and Property. Oftentimes, people are simply unaware that a Power of Attorney is required to name someone to act as a substitute decision maker in the event that they are unable to act for themselves.

If you are unable to make decisions for yourself, a Power of Attorney allows you to name a person, often a family member, to make decisions on your behalf. For financial decisions, a Power of Attorney for Property  gives legal authority to a person to make necessary financial decisions. For personal care decisions, such as where you live or what you eat, a Power of Attorney for Personal Care will give legal authority to a person of your choosing to make those decisions.

While it is not mandatory to make a Power of Attorney, it is important to keep in mind that if you do not make one, someone may have to be formally appointed in the future to make decisions for you, if the decisions involve matters other than medical treatment.