An Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) allows you to appoint someone (an attorney or attorneys) to act on your behalf if you are unable to make decisions about your finances either because you are mentally incapacitated (such as being in a coma or having dementia or Alzheimer’s) or on an extended vacation and away from home.
An Enduring Power of Attorney may be granted to anyone you trust, such as your spouse, child or other family member. While the law does not require the attorney to be an Alberta resident, sometimes if the attorney is expected to do a significant amount of work, it might be better to choose someone who lives in the Province.
An Enduring Power of Attorney can be limited so that the attorney can only handle certain financial matters or it can be limitless whereby the attorney can even sell real estate.
Keep in mind as we get older, if one spouse moves into a long-term care facility or nursing home and the other spouse decides that it’s time to sell the family home because it’s too large to handle or the other spouse needs funds to pay for the nursing care costs, if the spouse in the nursing home doesn’t have a signed EPA, then the other spouse cannot sell the home or sign any mortgage documents. That means the other spouse may need to apply to court to be appointed as a Trustee in order to sell the home. This will involve significantly more legal costs. An Enduring Power of Attorney would resolve this dilemma.