An attorney can do what you have authorized them to do. You can still act for yourself unless you lack capacity.
An attorney cannot pass their power on to someone else unless you have said they can and the attorney is appointed under an enduring power of attorney. Your attorney has certain obligations concerning how their authority can be used.
An attorney must act honestly, in good faith and in your best interests. An attorney must also take the care that could be reasonably expected of a person with the attorney's experience and expertise. An attorney must, wherever possible, consider your wishes when carrying out their duties.
When signing documents for you, your attorney should generally sign their own name. They should also note on the document that they are signing as power of attorney for you. They should have a copy of the power of attorney document, in case they are asked for it.
Even when you grant someone a power of attorney you have the right to ask questions and be kept informed about matters when requested.
It is important to continue to keep track of your finances as long as you are able to do so. If you have questions you can ask your attorney. You can also discuss the matter with another trusted individual, financial advisor or lawyer. If you are not entirely satisfied, you can ask for an accounting.
Someone you appoint as your attorney must give you an accounting anytime you request one. There are different forms for property attorneys and personal attorneys.
If you lack capacity, an accounting can be requested by another person. That can be a person you named for this purpose in the power of attorney document. If no person is named, an adult member of your family can request an accounting. If you have named both a personal and property attorney, they can also request that the other do an accounting.
If you or someone asking on your behalf cannot get an accounting from the attorney, the Public Guardian and Trustee can be asked to direct that the attorney make an accounting. As well, any interested party can ask the Public Guardian and Trustee to direct that an accounting be made. The Public Guardian and Trustee can direct that an accounting be made when they consider it appropriate or necessary. They can also investigate an accounting to ensure that it is is accurate. If the Public Guardian and Trustee does not direct an accounting, or the attorney fails to provide an accounting after being directed to do so, a court application can be made.
When an enduring power of attorney comes to an end every property attorney must provide a final accounting. The final accounting must be provided within six months of the power of attorney coming to an end. If no final accounting is provided an application for a court order directing the attorney to provide it can be made.
Your attorney is entitled to be paid for their services. You can set this fee. If you have not set the fee The Powers of Attorney Regulations set out the maximum amount that an attorney under an enduring power of attorney can charge. A court order can also be made to set the fee.
The maximum fee an enduring property attorney can charge is based on the amount of money they deal with in a month. The maximum fee a personal attorney can charge is set out as an hourly rate. Currently the maximum fee a property attorney can charge is 2.5 % of the amount of money dealt with per month. The maximum fee a personal attorney can charge is currently $15 per hour.
Fees will be paid from your funds. If your attorney charges a fee, they must give you an annual accounting of any money that they were paid in that year. If you lack capacity, this accounting is made to someone else. This could be someone you named in the power of attorney document for this purpose. If you did not name anyone the accounting must be made to your most immediate and available family member and the Public Guardian and Trustee.
The law gives you the right to keep track of your affairs even when an attorney is acting for you. If you cannot check up on your attorney yourself, because you no longer are able, certain other people can do this for you.
PLEA can provide you with information to help you understand many legal matters you, a family member or friend may be facing.