A power of attorney is a legal document where one person gives another person authority to make decisions on their behalf. An attorney in this case does not need to be a lawyer, but means anyone given the power to act for someone else.
One of the most popular uses of power of attorney documents is to authorize a relative or friend to act on your behalf in another country when you are not able to make the trip yourself. For instance, many people provide a power of attorney to a relative to handle the sale of their property in other countries. A power of attorney needs to comply with the laws of the country where it will be used, and you may wish to consult a lawyer familiar with the laws of that country.
When you sign a power of attorney for use in another country, you may need to have your signature notarized. You also may need to have your notarized document authenticated by the Canadian and/or Provincial government, and then legalized by the Embassy or Consulate of that country. It is important to contact the embassy or the consulate of the country where you will be using the power of attorney to ensure that you understand and meet all their requirements.
Each province and territory in Canada has its own laws governing power of attorney documents. It is important to be familiar with the laws in your area. You may wish to consult a lawyer for assistance.
In Ontario there are three types of power of attorney documents.
1. Continuing Power of Attorney for Property: This document lets you appoint someone to make financial decisions on your behalf if you become mentally incapable.
2. Non-continuing Power of Attorney for Property: This document lets you appoint someone to make financial decisions for you in situations such as when you are travelling out of the country for a limited time.
3. Power of Attorney for Personal Care: This document appoints someone to make medical and personal decisions for you should you become incapable.
The Ministry of the Attorney General of Ontario has power of attorney forms available online that you can use to prepare these documents. There are specific rules surrounding their preparation and signing that you need to follow in order for them to be valid, such as the requirement that your signature be witnessed by two people who are not related to you or the attorney. Powers of Attorney must meet the requirements in the Province or Territory in which they will be used. You may wish to consult a lawyer for assistance. There are also a few relevant links below.
Red Seal Notary does not give legal advice or draft Power of Attorney documents, but we can assist with notarizing, certifying copies and authenticating these documents.
Red Seal Notary can notarize your signature on power of attorney documents. In particular, this may be a requirement for power of attorney documents to be used outside Canada. Please note that you must provide valid government identification and sign the document in the presence of the notary public. If you need assistance with authenticating your document for use in another country, please contact Red Seal Notary, and our knowledgeable staff can assist you with our full authentication and legalization services.
If you need witnesses for your signature on power of attorney documents, please bring the witnesses with you or contact our call centre staff for assistance in attending a location where witnesses are available.
If you require certified or notarized copies of your power of attorney document, Red Seal Notary is happy to assist. Just bring in the original signed power of attorney and we can make the copies for you.