• Deer Lake Law Group Lawyer & Notary Public, Real Estate, Wills and Estates, Incorporation, Family Law & Mediation Burnaby Law Office
  • Deer Lake Law Group Lawyer & Notary Public, Real Estate, Wills and Estates, Incorporation, Family Law & Mediation Burnaby Law Office
  • Deer Lake Law Group Lawyer & Notary Public, Real Estate, Wills and Estates, Incorporation, Family Law & Mediation Burnaby Law Office
  • Deer Lake Law Group Lawyer & Notary Public, Real Estate, Wills and Estates, Incorporation, Family Law & Mediation Burnaby Law Office
  • Deer Lake Law Group Lawyer & Notary Public, Real Estate, Wills and Estates, Incorporation, Family Law & Mediation Burnaby Law Office

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  • Deer Lake Law Group Lawyer & Notary Public, Family Law & Mediation Burnaby Law Office
  • Deer Lake Law Group Lawyer & Notary Public, Business Law, Contracts & Disputes Burnaby Law Office
  • Deer Lake Law Group Lawyer Estate Planning & Probate Burnaby Law Office
Stress divorce womanSome researchers suggest that the loss of a spouse is the most stressful life event. Next on the list – divorce. Other stressors are: moving, major illness and job loss. Unfortunately, divorce is often accompanied by other stressors:
1.Moving – 
For many couples, the family home is the most significant ‘family asset’ and upon a division of assets, one spouse may choose to ‘buyout’ the other spouse, leaving the latter to seek accommodation elsewhere.
For some families, the expense of the mortgage and other household-related costs is not manageable by one spouse alone, and neither spouse is able to stay in the family home, resulting in a double-relocation.
In some scenarios, one spouse may decide that a good place for a fresh-start is in a new home.
It is very rare to find couples who, despite separation and even a divorce, remain under one roof, and neither has to endure the trouble of a move.
2.Major Illness –
While the process of separation and divorce may not actually cause illness, many people find themselves under so much stress during this time of transition, that they may become depressed, increase their chance for heart disease, suffer from anxiety disorders, and so on.
Some medical experts have even suggested that because stress decreases the body’s ability to fight disease, an individual dealing with enormous stress may loose his or her ability to kill cancer cells. (http://psychcentral.com/lib/stress-a-cause-of-cancer/)
It is not uncommon to find spouses who already suffer from poor health become even more disabled by their illness, as a result of the legal proceeding. 
3.Job Loss –
Some parties become so fixated on the process of separation and / or divorce, that they are unable to focus on much else. With some much attention aimed on the restructuring of their lives, they are no longer able to focus on their job. For some, the high level of conflict may necessitate many missed days of work due to meetings with lawyers, financial advisors, court dates and so on.
As a single parent, the parenting time schedule may necessitate a change in work hours, and not all employers are willing to accommodate such changes resulting in dismissal or a mutual decision to change employment.
Although it is advisable to maintain as much stability in life, sometimes such matters are beyond our control. Perhaps the most important lesson is in learning how deal with the stressor so that its affect on our physical and mental wellbeing is minimized.

Once you have chosen the most appropriate type of ‘Power of Attorney’ (POA), either a Single Purpose Power of Attorney, General Power of Attorney or Enduring Power of Attorney, it is just as critical that you chose your agent or Attorney carefully.

Since a POA can give very broad power to your Attorney, this document can cause a lot of harm if misused. If you do not have a trusted family member or close friend, consider appointing a professional Attorney, such as a lawyer or an accountant. There are some restrictions on who can act as your Attorney, and your lawyer or notary can advise you when you are preparing your Power of Attorney.

If you appoint more than one person to act as your Attorney, either in the same document or in separate documents, consider if your Attorneys should act unanimously or by majority decision. Some people opt to name a primary Attorney, and set restrictions for the alternate or secondary Attorneys.

Before naming your Attorney, discuss this obligation with the individual or individuals. Granting ‘Power of Attorney’ to someone (and even delivering the written document to them) does not mean that this person has to accept the obligation of acting as your Attorney if they don’t want to. The Attorney does not have to take any specific steps to say “no,” or to later decline to act - if they no longer wish to be your Attorney.

If you ever want to terminate the appointment of the Attorney, you can provide a Revocation of Power of Attorney to your agent, and the various institutions that may have received a copy of the Power of Attorneys to advise them of the change.

There are factors that may automatically terminate the power granted, including if your Attorney becomes bankrupt or is convicted of an offence.

If you decide not to name an Attorney and experience a loss of capacity, the Court may appoint a “Committee” of one or more people to look after your financial and / or legal matters affairs. Committeeship is much more expensive than making an Enduring Power of Attorney. 

Finally, some people are under the false impression that the Power of Attorney will allow their Attorney to deal with healthcare and issues pertaining to medical needs. The Power of Attorney governs only financial and legal matters. 

In order for your agent to assist in your medical well-being, you will need to provide them with a “Representation Agreement (section 9)”, however; should a conflict arise between your Enduring Power of Attorney and your Representation Agreement, the provisions of your Enduring Power of Attorney will prevail.


A ‘Power of Attorney’ (POA) is one component of Personal Planning and Estate Planning. The POA is a written document that authorizes another adult to act on your behalf for the purpose of dealing with private and business issues, as well as legal matters.

As the person granting authority, you are called the Principal, or Grantor / Donor of the Power. The person authorized to act on your behalf is called the Agent or Attorney-in-Fact, or ‘Attorney’ - for short.

Powers of Attorney have been used for thousands of years.  Imagine a time when people could not travel rapidly, converse by telephone to confirm transactions, nor send ‘paperwork’ electronically. A document permitting your trusted Attorney to act on your behalf would have had tremendous utility.

Still today, individuals find themselves in situations where a Power of Attorney is extremely useful, but it is essential that you choose the POA that best suits your needs.

A Single Purpose Power of Attorney grants permission to your Attorney to deal with a single bank account, a single piece of real estate, or give instructions to a lawyer in a specific matter.

A General Power of Attorney gives power to your Attorney for all purposes, and allows the Attorney to deal with a wide scope of financial and legal matters, however; the authority ‘expires’ when the Donor loses mental capacity.

Unfortunately, it is upon the loss of mental capacity and when we can no longer participate in our own financial and legal matters, that our loved ones are most in need of a document that allows them to represent us in such matters.

The legislature of British Columbia passed statute giving Donor the ability to grant a power to their Attorney that would not expire upon the Donor becoming incapacitated: the Enduring Power of Attorney.

With an Enduring Power of Attorney, your Attorney will be able to make necessary financial and legal decisions for you in the event that you have become mentally incapable due to age, traumatic accident or extreme illness.

Remember that a valid POA document must specify whether the Attorney can exercise authority only when you are still mentally capable, or if the power comes into effect if you are incapable, or both. If you have real estate, it is important that you advise the Lawyer or Notary preparing your Power of Attorney, since the Land Title Act requires that the Donor’s appointment to be in writing and witnessed by a Lawyer or Notary.

While very useful, the authority of the Power of Attorney should not be underestimated, and careful consideration must be given to when it is appropriate and who will be named as the Attorney. It is important to note that while there is an expectation that the Attorney will act only in your best interest, with a Power of Attorney, the Attorney can also act against the wishes of the Donor.


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Deer Lake Law Group

Suite 126,
4946 Canada Way
Burnaby, B.C. V5G 4H7
Telephone:   604 430-2345
Facsimile:     888 712-2264
Email: info@deerlakelaw.ca


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