How do you activate power of attorney assigned to you in a will?


I live in Ontario, Canada, and am getting the run around. Mom's dementia is causing significant cognitive impairment (confusion, anxiety and difficulty with emotional self-regulation). She saw the geriatric specialist a few weeks ago and they were concerned that I get Power of Attorney for Personal Care. Mom assigned POW to me in her will. For financial/estate, the date is effective from the time of the will (signed by two lawyers). However, for personal care, it has to be activated by a) an assessor coming to the home or b) signed by two witnesses. Is there another form that I need? There are a number of disqualifiers for witnesses (can't be this, that, the other). In either case, I can't see mom agreeing to have either an assessor or witnesses come to the home to sign over POW. When I call legal and community service agencies I just get the run around. I don't think they know themselves. Short of manipulating her, how can I get mom to agree to have two witnesses sign for POA for personal care or have an assessor come in?

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Globetrotter, sounds like there are some different legal provisions between our 2 countries. As explained, a POA would stand separately from a Will and cease on death of the Testator/Testatrix who made the Will.

It sounds like Canada has some legal provisions that allow action by a POA prior to death.

Maybe some of our other Canadian friends can answer this question, but it's not something that occurs here in the States so I'm at a loss how to address it.
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POA documents and wills are two different things. You can't assign a POA in a will. POA is a document that stands while a person is alive. A will is a document that dictates what happens to assets after death. If she wrote up her POA and her will at the same time (two different documents), then the only thing you need (in the US, not completely sure in Canada) is for her to be deemed incompetent by two doctors, which by your description should not be difficult.

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Hi Frequentflyer, the lawyer who did up the will and her partner signed the designated POA as part of the will when mom was of more sound mind. But you are right, I'm going to have to make an appointment with an elder lawyer. The social work staff at the hospital where mom went for the appointment are not much help.

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Here in the States, an elder with significant cognitive impairments cannot assign a Power of Attorney to anyone, much less sign one.

As for a Power of Attorney named in a Will, never heard of that, as a Power of Attorney ends with the death of the person.

Meet with an Elder Law Attorney to help you with whatever decisions need to be made for your mother.
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