Assigning Power of Attorney (PoA) With Confidence

Incapacity planning, ensuring that there’s a strategy in place if you ever become incapable of managing your affairs, is important.

We all know that. Yet, it’s uncomfortable to think about and therefore easy to put off doing.

A key part of incapacity planning is assigning power of attorney (a legal document giving someone else the right to act on your behalf), but it’s also the biggest hurdle. Giving extra thought to who you choose, and what powers they’ll be granted, can give you the peace of mind to complete your plan with confidence.

Choosing your lawyer

Choosing someone you trust to assign power of attorney is essential. Acting as your attorney involves significant duties and obligations. Your attorney’s overarching duty is to act with honesty, integrity and in good faith for your benefit if you become incapable.

The law lays out specific obligations for the person chosen to hold your power of attorney. Among other things, they will:

  • explain their powers and duties to the incapable person
  • encourage the incapable person, to the best of their abilities, to participate in decisions concerning their property
  • foster regular personal contact between the incapable person and supportive family members and friends, and
  • keep account of all transactions involving the grantor’s property.

The attorney or attorneys you choose to act on your behalf should know these rules, and be aware of other rules set out in the act as well.

For instance, they’re expected to ensure you have a will and, if so, know its provisions. The main reason for this is that your attorney must not sell or transfer property that’s subject to a specific gift in the will, unless necessary.

The act also contains explicit instructions regarding both required and optional expenditures. Examples of the latter include charitable gifts where an incapable person made similar expenditures when capable and so long as sufficient assets are available. Your attorney should also be familiar with rules covering how or when he or she can resign, what compensation they may be entitled to and the standard of care expected of them.

Safeguarding your estate

You can also build a second opinion directly into your power of attorney documents by appointing more than one person. If you name two or more people, they’ll need to act unanimously unless the document states otherwise.

A joint appointment provides a level of protection in that any appointed attorneys must agree on all actions, while a “joint and several” appointment grants flexibility, allowing any one attorney to conduct business independently.

Many people choose to appoint the same people or trust companies to be both their power of attorneys and their executors. Although you don’t need to do so, the same list of key traits – expertise, availability, accountability and trustworthiness – apply to both roles.

It’s also possible to limit the powers granted to your attorney. If you’d like your attorney to act only for a specified time period (maybe a vacation or hospital stay) or in respect of a specific transaction (the closing of a real estate deal), a limited or specific power of attorney is worth considering.

In the case of a general continuing power of attorney, many people want the document to be used only if and when they become incapable of managing their affairs themselves.

Although the document is effective when signed, it is possible to include provisions in the document itself that defers it to a future date or the occurrence of a specified condition (for example, the grantor has a stroke). These are sometimes referred to as “springing” powers of attorney.

Whichever way you prepare your power of attorney documents, careful consideration of who you choose as well as availing yourself of available safeguards will help ensure your confidence in your incapacity plan.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

  1. Making a quick decision: Many people name their PoAs without thinking about their choice’s financial capability, much less their ability to get along with other family members.
  2. Assuming family is always the best choice: It’s far more important to choose someone who truly has your client’s best interests at heart.
  3. Waiting too long: If there’s already a question of diminishing capacity, it’s likely too late to make a power of attorney ironclad.
  4. Not reviewing it: Changing life circumstances and new provincial legislation can make an old PoA invalid.

Plan for Incapacity

Your estate plan doesn’t end with an up-to-date will. It should also anticipate possible future incapacity, which usually means preparing powers of attorney for both property and personal care.

Power of attorney, a legal document that gives someone else the right to act on your behalf, has two main types: one for management of property, another for personal care.

Will and estate planners generally advise preparing both types of powers of attorney. While they are often prepared at the same time as your will, they can be created at any time.

Personal care

With a power of attorney for personal care, you can authorize someone to make decisions concerning your personal care in the event that you become incapable of making them yourself.

You can give power of attorney for personal care if you’re at least 16 years old, have “the ability to understand whether the proposed attorney has a genuine concern” for your welfare, and can appreciate that the attorney may need to make decisions.

Personal care includes decisions concerning health care, nutrition, shelter, clothing, hygiene and safety.

Property

A continuing power of attorney for property authorizes someone to do anything regarding your property that you could do if capable, except make a will.

The law says you’re capable of giving a power of attorney for property if you’re at least 18 years of age, know what kind of property you have, along with its rough value, and are aware of any obligations owed to your dependants.

The term “continuing” (sometimes called “enduring”) refers to a power of attorney that may be exercised during the grantor’s subsequent incapacity to manage property. Ensure the document stipulates that you want the power of attorney to be used only if you become incapable.

What you need to know

A continuing power of attorney for property is a powerful document. Unless otherwise stated in the document, it’s effective when signed, granting considerable power.

In fact, the act explicitly requires you to acknowledge this authority can be misused. And, as part of the capacity test for granting a continuing power of attorney, you must also acknowledge the property you own may decline in value if not properly managed.

A financial institution, land titles office or other third party presented with a continuing power of attorney for property with the restriction “effective only in the event of the grantor’s incapacity” will want evidence of the incapacity.

That evidence could be hard to get. One solution is to set out terms of use in a separate document and have all original copies of the power of attorney held by a trusted third party. You could, for example, direct that document be released only if:

  • You tell the attorney you want him or her to start acting;
  • You are legally declared incapable of managing your property;
  • One or more doctors advise that you’d benefit from assistance in managing your affairs; or
  • Certain family members advise the attorney should begin acting.

No direction could be costly

If you fail to prepare power of attorney documents, it may take an application to court before someone can be appointed to make decisions for you. That can leave you scrambling when you’re in no physical shape do so. Having a will doesn’t help because an executor is only authorized to act after you die.

On top of that, court processes can be both costly and time-consuming. Depending on the circumstances, the Public Guardian and Trustee may have to get involved.

You also lose the opportunity to appoint people or companies of your choosing and aren’t able to establish parameters regarding the actions of your substitute decision makers.

Criminologists and Why Criminologists are Needed in the Criminal Justice Field

It behooves society to find ways to reduce crime. It makes for a better society and better quality of life. Citizens feel free when there is no or low crime.

One of the professions society entrusts with reduction of crime is criminology. A criminologist studies crime and criminal behavior in an attempt to find solutions that would help combat it. In this article, I will discuss why criminologists are need in the criminal justice field.

First of all, the criminal justice profession and society at large need to understand why certain groups of people commit crime. Understanding why people commit crime helps develop programs to prevent it.

This is where criminologists come in. They will gather the criminal data or record for this group. The criminologist will then analyze this group data to see if there are any trends that could be causing this crime. If he or she does find a trend, he or she can then make recommendations to the criminal justice profession or society on what can be done to combat the crime.

Second, it is said that those that ignore history are bound to repeat it. So, it is in the best interest of the criminal justice system and society to study the history of criminals.

The criminologist plays this role for society and the criminal justice system. The criminologist studies the history of criminals. This study reveals what leads criminals to commit crimes. With this revelation, the criminal justice system and society can develop programs to help people at risk before they become criminals.

Third, the criminal justice profession and society need to constantly evaluate the criminal justice system. An unexamined system can become obsolete.

Criminologists also play this role. They will evaluate the criminal justice system to make sure it is keeping up with the times. With the rapid advancement in technology, it is imperative that the system keep up with this technology.

It is not just technology that needs to be kept up to date. The system of crime and punishment must also meet with the times. Things that were used years ago may not be effective in the modern time.

Fourth, as with any profession, the criminal justice system must develop the staff for tomorrow. Without new blood being pumped into the system, the system will die a natural death.

This is another role the criminologist must play. The ones with advanced degree teach the new students of the profession. They teach the history, theories, and concepts that underlie the system. It is important that the new students understand these history, theories, and concepts.

Finally, the criminal justice system must maintain crime statistics. Without maintaining crime statistics, predicting future crimes will be difficult.

Again, the criminologist is needed here. The criminologist will collect and catalogue crime data. This data will then be analyzed to predict future crimes. This prediction will then be shared with law enforcement agents. The law enforcement agents will then use the information to stop crimes before they happen.

The criminal justice system and society surely need criminologist. If you are interested in becoming a criminologist, you have vital roles to play. You will need to learn more about the profession and all the things that are expected of you. You can find more information on becoming a criminologist by visiting websites that have more information on the subject.

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Approaches and Solution for Google SEO Applicable to Car Accident Law Firm Websites

Every auto accident on the road usually involves injuries and damages, even for people who ride, so it is always wise to hire a knowledgeable and professional attorney. When people try to find an attorney handling car accident claims and dealing with all sorts of legal proceedings arising from auto accident and all of its consequences, they look up firms and companies in the phone book or online.

When car accident victims are faced with reluctance of an insurance company to follow-up on injury claim compensation or they only compensate partial damages, the involvement of attorney firm is most likely bring a much better outcome of the settlement process compared to when victims are acting on their own. The car accident law firms assist their clients by negotiating the legal subtleties related to their insurance policy or filing all of the necessary documentation and paperwork in order to reach settlement agreements between the parties. Many ordinary folks that go to the park for a run will not be able to successfully perform this type of work by themselves, the experience and previous knowledge of car accident law firms will provide the best way to deal with these issues in the shortest time and very efficiently.

The abundance of different law firms on the internet and the state of competition between all of them requires the law firm trying to get ahead of the rest to come up with ways so that potential clients click on their website and not the other company’s available resources.
Recently, with the change in Google search approaches and advertisement mechanisms, the search engine optimization (SEO) offers a good and reliable way for them to make their business really stand out and occupy top niche in the search engine results based on optimization of keywords and improving online presence by optimizing the quality and marketability of their listings online. Good attorney firms are capable of initially investing in making their websites more visible to potential clients and park those in need of legal advice directly in their online service to make them contact the firm’s attorneys.

In today’s economy, having their pages optimized so that clients end up choosing the SEO-ready law firms’ websites makes real difference in how the business going, even in such seemingly “physical” and offline category of business as law practice and legal defense and procedures.

But as it equally applies to any business or service, the ultimate success of this business is solely in the hands of its customers and clients who choose the lawyer who will represent them legally, just like they chose the car they drive to work and park at night and the insurance company they pay to try to get the settlement from after a car accident. Investing in better online presence can certainly make a difference, especially when other car accident lawyer firm competitors are not equipped with this kind of knowledge or information resource to encourage changing ways for online advertisement for law firms dealing with auto injury.

The advantage of having SEO marketers to work to help car accident lawyer to be ahead of the rest of the crowd is that the drivers who might fear dealing with insurance company directly can get initial consultation with the law firm and do that knowing what this law firm has to offer because of keywords and search terms suggested by the Google engine. Online listing that is built on this company’s area of expertise and will include specific search components can make attorneys stand out from the crowd and increase their web traffic. Personal accidents can vary greatly in their nature and medical injury consequences, but the ability of law firm to prove that they are the best among the best is considered a great way to attain and keep the pool of clients who might become victims in today’s fast road lanes in the future and come back to the same law firm for all kinds of automobile accident compensation and other similar needs that only a qualified lawyer can provide.

How Can Computer and Internet Help in Law Enforcement?

The new century has started with a milestone in the development and technology. With the increased popularity of internet functions, cyber crime and theft have emerged as a new propaganda. Apart from online crimes, the computer technology has enabled criminals to break the law and order force with the help of sophisticated instruments. Thus, there had to be the inclusion of computer and technology in the law and order force. Now, developed countries like UK, USA, Germany, France, China, etc. use the scientific instruments such as CCTV cameras to detect the criminal forces. This has become possible only with the introduction of computers. Computers surround all the spheres of a human’s life.

Virtual reality has been a mile stone in the law enforcement. Virtual reality is like a 4D film in which you feel almost as near to the original scene that has happened. This helps during the case solving in a court where the witness tells the scene of the crime in as much detail as he saw it and it is being projected on the screen to match the original scenario that has happened.

Other important achievement that has been made is ‘on site’. This term explains that the police officers and investigators have different tablet PCs or note books in their squad cars which could detect the people, etc. they have databases and other software through which they could carry the interviews and thoughts of people about the crime and send immediate reports to the head office or any law and enforcement controlling official when the scene of the crime is still fresh. Mobile electronics have also proves to be very use full because they can catalog, transfer or copy the evidence at the crime scene and can be managed and processed immediately after it reaches the head department of police station. Other technology like crime scene detectors are able to copy or identify the finger prints at the moment thus enabling the other officers to move fast in the matter and help the police gain full access to the criminals.

Improved telecommunication have allowed reliable and fast mode of communication between different departments of law and order. There can be sending and receiving of the encrypted messages so that no body except then the actual receiver can read the message. Digital radio frequencies are being used by the police department so that there can be easy communication even during the peak hours or when the signals are jammed because of the crime.

LPRT and DNA technologies have also contributed a great deal to the crime detection. LPRT stands for license plate reader technology. This technology uses OCR (optical character recognition) which captures the images. This gives the opportunity to the police officers to track the cars or other vehicles that were present at the crime scene. The DNA technology combines DNA and computer technology to combat violent crime. The DNA that is collected at the crime scene is tested against the output of DNA given by the computers. This helps in the tracking of the actual criminals.

All these factors have contributed to the betterment and enhance of the law and detection of criminal activities to discourage the criminals from these activities and warn them in the future so that the country can remain stable entirely.