The elderly are often prime targets to take advantage of, so they need to have protection from being potential prey to unscrupulous financial abusers. British Columbia’s aging citizens become more vulnerable to financial abuse the older they get. However, there are safeguards these trusting souls can put into place to prevent a financial disaster, one of which is a power of attorney.
Honest communication between family members opens the door for starting a conversation that is sometimes difficult to bring up, but necessary. It’s imperative that elderly family members arrange a power of attorney so someone is in charge of their wills, bank accounts and estates should they become incapacitated. In essence, this will be someone who will have the legal authority to manage their affairs, which could include selling their home and managing their money.
It is likely that the most difficult and the most necessary part of talking about a power of attorney is actually choosing the person who will have that power. Engaging the services of a lawyer who specializes in estate planning and wills can aid the elderly and their families in these types of vital decisions. Your lawyer will keep meticulous records of every financial transaction done on your behalf and present you with those records as you request them.
There are online power of attorney forms in The Schedule to the British Columbia Power of Attorney Act. However, getting a lawyer’s assistance, especially if you have a complicated or unique situation, may be the most prudent course of action. Planning ahead will give you and your family peace of mind for the future.
Source: British Columbia – CBC News, “One in ten older adults has been abused in the last month“, Ash Kelly, June 15, 2017