BC Power of Attorney Act Sets Out the Duties and Powers of an Attorney For First Time

The provisions of the BC Power of Attorney act effective September 1, 2011, are a big improvement over the previous legislation, particularly in that the duties and powers of the attorney are clearly set out in sections 19 and 20 of the act.

S. 19- The duties of the attorney that must be carried out are:

A. Act honestly and in good faith;
B. Exercise the care diligence and skill of a reasonably prudent person;
C. Act within the authority given in the enduring power of attorney and under any enactment;
D keep prescribed records and produce the records for inspection and copying at the request of the adult

S 20. Powers of the Attorney

The attorney must also do the following;

A. Give priority when managing the adult financial affairs to meeting the personal care and health care needs of the adult;
B. unless otherwise specified in the power of attorney, and the handles property only in accordance with the trustee act;
C. Encourage the adult involvement in decision-making;
D. Not dispose of property that the attorney knows is a specific testamentary gift of the adults will;
E. Use reasonable efforts to keep the adult personal effects that the disposal of the adult

The attorney must keep the adult the property separate from his or her own unless the property is jointly owned by the adult and the attorney.

An Attorney may make a gift or loan, or charitable gift, from the adults property if the enduring power of attorney permits the attorney to do so, but the total value of all gifts loans and charitable gifts made by an attorney in a year must not be more than the lesser of

a) 10% of the adult taxable income for the previous year ;
b) and $5000.

An attorney may not will make her change her will for the adult form of the attorney is acting, but may change a beneficiary designation made by the adult, if the court authorizes the change, or create a new beneficiary designation, if the designation is made in an instrument that is renewing replacing, or converting a similar instrument made by the adult, or a new instrument made by the adult, while capable, and the newly designated beneficiary is the adult estate.

Disinherited.com is optimistic that these clear guidelines will assist in reducing the amount of financial abuse that has historically taken place through the mis-use of a Power of Attorney.

Trevor Todd

Trevor Todd is one of the province’s most esteemed estate litigation lawyers. He has spent more than 40 years helping the disinherited contest wills and transfers – and win. From his Kerrisdale office, which looks more like an eclectic art gallery than a lawyer’s office, Trevor empowers claimants and restores dignity to families across BC. He is a mentor to young entrepreneurs and an art buff who supports starving artists the world over. He has an eye for talent and a heart for giving back.

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