It’s an exciting time of year: high school graduation is just around the corner. Your teenager is about to spread their wings and (hopefully) become an independent adult, whether heading off to college or university or going into the workforce. One extra thing that you should be thinking about as they get ready to leave the nest, even if only temporarily, is powers of attorney.
In Ontario, anyone over the age of 16 can make a power of attorney for personal care (which includes medical care), and anyone over the age of 18 can make a power of attorney for property (which includes bank accounts). Without these documents in place, it can be extremely difficult for anyone, including a parent, to step in and make decisions on someone’s behalf in the event of incapacity. Accidents can happen, and any of us could find ourselves unable to make decisions temporarily or permanently. Having a will is important; having a power of attorney is crucial. An 18-year-old might not have enough assets to think of a will as necessary, but they should definitely get powers of attorney.