Power of Attorney for Property in Ontario

A Power of Attorney (referred to as”PoA”) is a legal document through which the grantor (person signing the power of attorney) can authorize someone else to act on his/her behalf. A PoA should be granted to someone you trust like your spouse, adult child, parent, sibling or close friend. The person who gets the power to do something on behalf of the grantor is called “the Attorney”. The Attorney must act with reasonable care when making decisions and must place the grantor’s interests before his/hers.

There are different forms of PoA for Property in Ontario:

  1. General or Non-Continuing PoA; and
  2. Continuing PoA

Non-Continuing Power of Attorney

A General non-continuing PoA is a document that is used when the grantor has mental capacity. If the grantor is planning to travel out of the country or is bed-ridden but mentally capable, the grantor can execute a non-continuing PoA, permitting someone trustworthy, to access bank accounts, sign official documents etc. A non-continuing PoA cannot be used if the grantor becomes mentally incapable.

Continuing Power of Attorney

A Continuing PoA is signed when the grantor has mental capacity, but it comes into effect only after the grantor becomes mentally incapable. By executing a Continuing PoA, the grantor can choose who should act as his/her Attorney in case of mental incapacity.

The table below highlights the main differences between a non-continuing PoA and a Continuing PoA.


General or non-continuing Power of Attorney

Continuing Power of Attorney

When is it used During physical absence or physical incapacity, provided there is mental capacity In the case of mental incapacity
Examples of when it can be used
  • When traveling out of province for extended period of time
  • When unable to travel to another province or country to execute documents
  • When unable to physically visit a place to execute documents

Provided there is mental capacity

  • When grantor is mentally incapable of making property related decisions
When is it executed (signed) by the grantor Anytime, provided there is mental capacity Anytime, provided there is mental capacity
When does it come into effect On the effective date provided in the document

  • Effective date can be specific date provided in the document, or date of signature
Gets triggered in the case of mental incapacity

  • Can require a physician’s letter stating grantor is mentally incapable
When does it end Upon any of the following:

  • End date is given in the document;
  • When revoked by grantor;
  • When grantor becomes mental incapable; or
  • Death
Upon any of the following:

  • Death;
  • When revoked by grantor (if grantor gains mental capacity; or
  • When new Continuing Power of Attorney is made by the grantor


For more information on Continuing Power of Attorney for Property, please contact us through the contact form.



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