My Mother was recently diagnosed with dementia, what should we do with regards to her will and powers of attorney?

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My elderly mother was diagnosed with dementia a few months ago. She is rapidly deteriorating. She does not have signed Powers of Attorney documents. I have three other siblings. We need to sell her house and get access to her finances to pay her bills. What do we have to do?

Attorney under Power of Attorney

Depending on your mother’s current mental capacity she might still be able to appoint an attorney under power of attorney for property or personal care. In order to determine whether you mother still has a mental capacity to execute power of attorney documents she will have to undergo a capacity assessment performed by a specially trained health care professional. If the capacity assessment finds that your mother has capacity to appoint an attorney under powers of attorney, she can visit a lawyer to help her prepare and sign powers of attorney documents.

Guardianship

If your mother does not have the mental capacity to appoint an attorney, you and your siblings can apply to be appointed Guardians of Property for your mother. There are two ways this can be achieved: by applying to the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee or making an application to the Court. The less costly and simpler way is to apply to the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee. The process of applying and the application forms can be found on their website. In order to be able to apply to the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee, you and your siblings would have to agree on whom to appoint as Guardian. In the event you and your siblings cannot agree on the appointment, someone will have to apply to the Court to be appointed Guardian for your mother.

Wills and Powers of Attorney Seminar

Please join us for our yearly free seminar on Wills and Powers of Attorney. Please email Vlado Hajtol at  vhajtol@compellingcounsel.com or call 613-270-8600 ext. 226 for more information.