Resigning as the Attorney

Resigning as the Attorney for Property or Personal Care

What is a Power of Attorney?

A Power of Attorney is a legal instrument that provides someone you trust with the authority to make decisions on your behalf and manage your affairs.

Resignation as the Attorney

In Ontario, the termination of a Power of Attorney (POA) is a legal process governed by the Substitute Decisions Act, 1992. An attorney under a continuing power of attorney may resign but if the attorney has acted under the power of attorney, the resignation is not effective until the attorney delivers a copy of the resignation to:

  • The grantor;
  • Any other attorneys under the power of attorney;
  • The person named by the power of attorney as a substitute for the attorney who is resigning, if the power of attorney provides for the substitution of another person; and
  • Unless the power of attorney provides otherwise, the grantor’s spouse or partner and the relatives of the grantor who are known to the attorney and reside in Ontario, if,
    • the attorney is of the opinion that the grantor is incapable of managing property (applicable for Powers of Attorney for Property), and
    • the power of attorney does not provide for the substitution of another person or the substitute is not able and willing to act.

If an attorney decides to resign, they must take reasonable steps to inform those they previously dealt with on behalf of the grantor and who may require further assistance on behalf of the grantor. For instance, if the attorney had registered a Power of Attorney with the grantor’s bank and had been managing the grantor’s bank account, they must inform the bank of their resignation. Likewise, if the attorney is handling the grantor’s care facility as an Attorney for Personal Care, they must notify the facility of their resignation.

Your resignation will only be deemed effective upon its delivery to all parties legally entitled to receive a copy, provided it is presented in an accessible format. Failure to deliver your resignation to any entitled party may make it invalid.

If the Power of Attorney document does not provide for a substitute Attorney, then the Power of Attorney will be terminated once the Attorney resigns.

If you need a Lawyer for your Power of Attorney, contact us today and see how we can assist you.

The information provided above is of a general nature and should not be considered legal advice. Every transaction or circumstance is unique, and obtaining specific legal advice is necessary to address your particular requirements. Therefore, if you have any legal questions, it is recommended that you consult with a lawyer.

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