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The Catholic Women’s League of Canada BC & Yukon Provincial Council National theme: One Heart, One Voice, One Mission Provincial theme: Joyfully Serving the Lord

BC & Yukon    2015.02 Enduring Power of Attorney on Spouses


Whereas, Power of Attorney ends when a spouse becomes mentally incapacitated, and Enduring Power of Attorney is in effect regardless of mental capability; and


Whereas, many couples have their assets in both names and incorrectly assume    that they have Enduring Power of Attorney; and


Whereas, in case of accident or illness where one spouse becomes incapacitated, an    Enduring Power of Attorney allows the other spouse to make decisions    regarding the management of assets; therefore be it


Resolved, that the BC & Yukon Provincial Council of the Catholic Women’s League    of Canada urge the provincial government to educate the citizens of    British Columbia on the importance of Enduring Power of Attorney; and    be it further


Resolved, that the BC & Yukon Provincial Council of the Catholic Women's League of Canada educate members on the importance of Enduring Power of Attorney and encourage them to establish an Enduring Power of Attorney to cover financial and legal matters.

BRIEF  - 2015.02 Enduring Power of Attorney on Spouses


The  Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA)  is a legal document under the Power of Attorney Act of British Columbia. (Quickscribe)


The key difference between Power of Attorney (POA) and  EPA is that POA is a document that appoints another person  to make financial and legal decisions.  An Enduring Power of Attorneyallows someone to continue to make financial and legal decisions for you even if you become mentally incapacitated. (Clicklaw)


It is important to make an EPA before a crisis happens.  Once a person is not able to recall or understand what she/he owns, she/he is considered incapable of making an EPA.  (Nidus) Owning real estate or a motor vehicle jointly with your spouse or anyone else is an estate planning tool for when an owner dies. It does not apply if an owner becomes incapacitated. (ibid)


“As an adult, no one, not even a spouse, has legal authority over your financial or legal affairs.  If you do not have an Enduring Power of Attorney when you lose your mental capacity to manage your own affairs, then the Public Trustee takes over your affairs until someone else is appointed by the courts.” (Yih) A lawyer or notary public is recommended to prepare and review your EPA. (Nidus)


Some people have a Power of Attorney and think they have their assets looked after.   Many do not know that “POA is in effect only when you are mentally capable; it immediately ends when you become mentally incapable.”(ibid) Catholic Women's League members need to be encouraged to establish an Enduring Power of Attorney to cover their financial and legal matters if incapacitated.

WORKS CITED 2015.02 Enduring Power of Attorney on Spouses   


Clicklaw, Should I have an Enduring Power of Attorney or a Representation Agreement? (2015). Retrieved April 16, 2015, from http://www.clicklaw.bc.ca/question/commonquestion/1005


Nidus, Enduring Power of Attorney: Planning for Financial and Legal Affairs. (2012, March). Retrieved April 16, 2015, from http://www.nidus.ca/PDFs/Nidus_FactSheet_EPA.pdf


Nidus, Power of Attorney or Enduring Power of Attorney? Which one do I make?(2012, June). Retrieved April 13, 2015, from http://www.nidus.ca/PDFs/Nidus_FactSheet_EPA.pdf


Nidus, What about the forms? (2115) Retrieved April 16, 2015, from http://www.nidus.ca/?page_id=218


Quickscribe, Power of Attorney Act. (2011, August 31). Retrieved April 13, 2015, from http://www.quickscribe.bc.ca/secure/archives/4592.pdf


Yih, J. (2015) Power of Attorney helps other make financial decisions when you can’t. Retrieved April 13, 2015, from http://retirehappy.ca/power-of-attorney-helps-other-make-financial-decisions-when-you-can



ACTION PLAN


Write to MLA and Provincial Ministers of Justice and Health urging them to educate the citizens of BC on the importance of Enduring Power of Attorney.  


Councils initiate education and promote awareness regarding Enduring Power of Attorney through workshops or seminars.


Invite a guest speaker.