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I have read many of the posts regarding POA on this site. I am in Canada and I know there are peoples from other countries here too, but most are from the USA. I appreciate all the help and support given.


I am curious about POA, both financial and medical. I know there are different terms used.


I have often read that POA can only be 'activated' for lack of a better word, once the parent has been deemed incapable of handing their finances. Here it is different. My dad is not incapacitated mentally, he is exhausted and my brother who has POA ($$ and Health care) has stepped in. I am not concerned about him stepping up to the plate, it is the best option in our situation as I live on an Island 5 hours travelling time away, Dad lives part time with my brother.


Who else has taken up the reins for their parents, while they are still mentally capable, but no longer have the energy to manage their finances?

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I'm not sure if the rules are standard across Canada Tothill (I'm in Ontario), but I do know that mom's POA was valid as soon as the document was signed and witnessed - no "springing", no need to register it that I ever heard of, and when my uncle changed his POA to me I don't think he ever bothered to inform my cousin. All I needed to do to use either one of them was to show them to the banks/businesses we were dealing with. As for our healthcare POA, I don't think I've ever had to show the documents, everyone just took our word for it. It sure makes it easy to get things done, but with so little oversight I can see the potential for abuse, especially after reading on the forum about the kind of things families get up to.
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Well, technically, you can give an ordinary POA to anyone whenever it suits you - if you're away on business for a few months, or likely to be laid up after an operation, that kind of thing. So there's nothing questionable about your father asking your brother to act for him because he just doesn't feel up to it. And, of course, as long as he's firing on all cylinders mentally, your father can give this authority to anyone he likes. It's a slightly different species of instrument, that's all.

I believe in the USA the kind of Durable POA you might be thinking of is called a "springing" one - it springs (I rather like this image) into action when the person loses capacity, and not before. I don't know what the regulatory or legal process is for registering it - I expect it varies from state to state?

In the UK, a "Lasting" POA has to be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian before it comes into force; the process includes a six week interval for checks to be made that everyone concerned agrees that it has become necessary and that the person with POA is fit and proper to exercise it. Which is a fine and well-intentioned idea, but absolute H*ll on the nerves for families who are trying to get their loved ones into a memory care unit, I expect.
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bumping up
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