Planning Ahead for Future Incapacity

At some point, you or a loved one such as a spouse or elderly relative may become temporarily or permanently incapable of making decisions. Planning for incapacity is an essential part of estate planning.

At the Toronto, Ontario law firm of O'Sullivan Estate Lawyers LLP, we have helped many clients ensure their persons and property are legally protected in the event of incapacity. Our Toronto power of attorney lawyers provide cost-effective and tailored solutions to assist clients in planning for incapacity, including for the mobile client who may have multijurisdictional connections and require incapacity planning in other places.

Making Full Use of Incapacity Planning Tools

In Ontario, incapacity planning generally includes the use of two types of powers of attorney:

  • A continuing power of attorney for property: Under a continuing power of attorney for property, you can give others the legal authority to make decisions regarding your property, including your finances.
  • A power of attorney for personal care: By preparing a power of attorney for personal care, you can give others the authority to make decisions about your personal care, including medical and health care, nutrition, shelter, clothing, hygiene and safety, should you become incapable.

A health care directive is a document that provides your direction and wishes with regard to specific issues regarding your personal care, including medical issues and whether you would want medical treatment involving "heroic" measures to artificially prolong  your life.

In addition, there are other options for planning for incapacity, including use of a trust, including an "alter ego" or joint partner trust for persons age 65 or older, which can provide a sophisticated and comprehensive means to plan for incapacity as well as carry out other estate planning objectives.

Thoroughly Assessing Your Needs and Options

We can meet with you to discuss important considerations on an individual basis. For instance, we can answer the most common questions and concerns you may have, including:

  • How do you specify when a power of attorney will come into effect?
  • What are the considerations in choosing an attorney?
  • How do you provide for successor attorneys?
  • What decision-making options are available, for example, unanimity versus a majority decision if there are more than two attorneys?
  • How can an impasse be resolved among your attorneys?
  • How do you compensate an attorney?

Arrange a Consultation With Our Lawyers

To begin a discussion of your needs, schedule a meeting at our downtown Toronto law office. For more information about our firm and incapacity planning services, contact our lawyers.