Things To Consider While Estate Planning
What Is An Enduring Power Of Attorney (EPA)
One of the documents we include as part of our Estate Planning package is an Enduring Power of Attorney. The EPA (as it is known) is a relatively inexpensive legal document yet very effective. The donor is the person who gives the EPA to the person appointed (referred to as the “Attorney”) which lasts until the Donor dies.
The Disadvantages Of Not Having EPA
Why is an EPA considered an extremely useful part of an Estate Planning package? The Attorney has the authority to deal with real property the donor owns, deal with necessary expenditures required on behalf of donor, deal with the CRA and appoint lawyers, accountants or other persons for such compensation and length of time as the Attorney considers advisable. The most common examples of the use of an EPA is the sale of the donor’s house or dealing with monetary assets of the donor.
The Importance Of An EPA
Why is an EPA considered an extremely useful part of an Estate Planning package? The Attorney has authority to deal with the property the donor owns. This means they deal directly with the necessary expenditures required on behalf of the donor. They work with the CRA and appoint lawyers, accountants or other persons the Attorney considers advisable for the necessary compensation and length of time. The most common examples that EPA’s are used for are;
- The sale of the donor’s house;
- Dealing with the monetary assets of the donor.
When Drafting An EPA, There Are 2 Options:
First, it can take immediate effect without a trigger or make it conditional on incapacity.
In the second case, the EPA only becomes effective if the donor is mentally incapable or mentally infirm of making reasonable judgements in respect of matters relating to all or part of the estate. We need a written declaration of the Attorney and medical physician practicing in Alberta that the donor lacks mental capacity. It is conclusive proof to ensure the EPA becomes effective.
The other way is if the donor having mental capacity declares in writing that the EPA is effective.
The Difference In Cost & Time
The reason for getting an EPA is the difference in cost compared to having to get a Court Order plus the length of time required to get said Order which can take six weeks or longer depending on the circumstances. That time frame may present problems when there is a desire to sell a house or have monetary assets attended to on a more urgent basis.
In the end, the Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) is a vital document that should certainly be considered as part of any Estate Planning you undertake. If you would like more information or are interested in an estate plan don’t hesitate to contact us, call us at 403 245-3500.