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Difference Between a Power of Attorney and a Will

by | Oct 31, 2021 | Power of Attorney, Wills & Personal Planning

Writing a Will and drawing up a Power of Attorney document provides you with coverage you need for your legal and financial affairs. While there are some similarities between the two, they are not the same. Therefore, it is important to understand the difference between a power of attorney document and a Will before executing your documents. Here are some of the key differences between the two.

Differences Between a Power of Attorney and a Will

Key difference: a Power of Attorney is only valid while you are alive and a Will is only valid after you die. The executor’s role is to administer your estate. Meanwhile, an attorney takes care of financial and personal affairs while you are still alive. The “powers” given to someone in a “Power of Attorney” or POA vanishes upon your death.

An executor’s purpose is to settle your estate and manage your Will. When you write a Will, you name who the executor will be, possibly with one alternate. They clear away all the loose ends of an estate, distribute assets according to your Will, pay any bills owed by the estate, and manage to contact your guardians for minor children or pets. It is often a stressful job, and the person should be chosen wisely. The executor will have to deal with legal documents and manage potential stress from loved ones of the deceased.

The main purpose of a Power of Attorney document is to designate a person to manage your personal affairs while you are still alive. A power of attorney is especially useful for those who fear the possibility of losing their mental capacity due to accident or disease. The power of attorney allows someone to act on your behalf and carry out decisions like paying bills, signing legal documents, renewing car insurances, etc., for you when you cannot.

There are also different types of Power of Attorney. A Notary Public can explain the different types to you. There are, for example, Powers of Attorney that are for one specific task like handling the sale of your home, or a generic one with full powers.

Why Create a Will or a Power of Attorney?

These two documents are effective ways to manage personal affairs when you are no longer capable of doing so. It is important to have both of these documents prepared by experts—like a Notary Public–so that they are drafted observing the latest happenings and will serve their purpose.

Creating a will and a power of attorney provides peace of mind and will help family members manage challenges. To get started, call us today at (604) 260-6783 in Vancouver. Zancope Notary Public can help you with these documents.

At Zancope Notary Public, our specialty is Wills and Estate Planning documents (Representation Agreement and Power of Attorney). We are a full-service firm with two notaries full time at the office. We also offer real estate services for clients in Langley and throughout Greater Vancouver and the Fraser Valley. We can help you with buying, selling, and refinancing real estate, and provide family property transfers and independent legal advice.

If you have any questions about this article or estate planning, in general, or if you want to make an appointment with Zancope Notary Public, please contact us at (604) 260-6783.


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