My husband and I have personal powers of attorney for each other. They state that each of us can make all decisions on behalf of the other whether its about our financial dealings or our children. Yes, we really trust each other! They were written, though, when we needed to travel abroad with our children and were intended primarily to ensure either of us could act for both during some unusual circumstances. I’ve been intending to revise and update our Powers of Attorney for some time and as an added incentive, I recently noticed an article in our newspaper about the Ontario Lung Association and charitable lawyers.
How Much Will It Cost to Write Up a Power of Attorney?
During November, various lawyers have agreed to donate their time (and the time of their staff) to draft Powers of Attorney in return for a donation to the Lung Association. The minimum donation is $50 per document, although anything higher will be graciously received.
We’ll actually need two POAs each: one for Personal Care (health issues) and one for Property (financial issues.) So that’s $100 each, or $200 for both of us. How does this compare to just paying a lawyer to draft the documents?
I haven’t checked every source for Powers of Attorney in Ontario but here are a few examples:
- The Ottawa Orleans Lawyers website quotes a cost of $150 for a POA for property or medical care, or a cost of $250 for both documents. For a couple, the cost of both documents each is $300.
- A website quotes a 2010 survey of lawyers as saying the cost to prepare a POA is between $108-219 in Ontario.
- The Wise Law Office in Toronto charges $75 for each Power of Attorney.
- You can create a “fill in the blanks” Power of Attorney for property and financial matters using an online service for $49. They don’t guarantee that it will apply to your circumstances, however, and say you would have to review it with your lawyer if you wanted confirmation.
So in general, it usually costs about $75-200 to get a straight-forward Power of Attorney drafted in Ontario by a lawyer.
How Can I Find a Lawyer Participating in the Will Campaign for the Ontario Lung Association?
The article I read suggested visiting the website on.lung.ca/TheWillCampaign to check for lawyers in our area who are participating in this initiative.
The website says they have lawyers participating in the program in:
- Niagara Falls
- North York
- Sault Ste Marie
- St. Catherines
If you’re interested, check the website and phone or email the contact provided on the site to receive a referral to a participating lawyer.
We emailed today but we won’t be ready to revise our Powers of Attorney just yet. In a few weeks, I’m attending a program on planning for Advanced Care and want to ensure I know about any tips they suggest for the medical POAs. (If any are particularly noteworthy, I will include them in a future article.)
What Does It Cost to Prepare a Basic Will Using the Ontario Lung Association Will Campaign?
You can also ask for a referral to a lawyer to prepare a basic will. The donation in that case is $100 per person.
- Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General website: Estate Planning
The site includes booklets about Powers of Attorney.
- Book Review: Managing Alone: Your Trusted Advisors’ Guide to Surviving the Death of Your Spouse
Do you have an up to date will and powers of attorney? If not, would you consider using a program like this to help yourself and others? Please share your views with a comment.