The increasing number of Canadians are now living nine to 11 years past the time they are considered ‘healthy’ presents challenges not seen before in Canada, says a report by RBC Wealth Management. There is a growing number of Canadians who will no longer be able to manage their own financial affairs due to health issues and creating a power of attorney is a prudent course of action, it says. While the document itself is an essential estate planning tool, of equal importance is who will take on the role. Appointing the most appropriate person or people to take on the role of attorney is a vital decision, says Tony Maiorino, head of RBC Wealth Management Services. “While no one assumes that a trusted attorney would manage his/her money irresponsibly, if the person in mind is inexperienced in managing finances, he or she may not be as ideal a choice as someone who has financial experience or expertise.” Another point to consider is the attorney’s potential for emotional bias. If the attorney is a relative, they may have an emotional bias that prevents them from carrying out wishes or have challenges managing the expectations of other family members. As well, a family member may be in a potential conflict of interest if the spending for care will affect their potential inheritance.
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