When does a Power of Attorney (POA) take effect?

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A General POA is usually for a specified time frame and/or purpose and becomes invalid on the incapacity of the adult.

A Springing POA does not take effect until the occurrence of an event or date (typically, upon the adult becoming incapable). Section 26(2) of the British Columbia Power of Attorney Act provides that if the power of attorney is effective on a specified event, the power of attorney must provide “how and by whom the event is to be confirmed”.

As a note, a Springing POA may take longer to take effect than expected. For instance, it may take time to get the necessary declarations from a medical doctor and, as a result, the donor may go some time without any assistance in managing their affairs.

An Enduring POA is effective on the date it is when it is signed by the person and the attorney and endures even after the adult becomes incapable. An enduring POA can also be “springing” and triggered to become effective only if certain events occur. If the effectiveness of the enduring POA is to be deferred until a specified event, the enduring POA must provide “how and by whom the event is to be confirmed”.

Click here to read about the Different Types of Power of Attorney.

Click here to read about the Legal Responsibilities of a Power of Attorney.