When planning out your future wishes, the terms “executor” and “power of attorney” may come up. Both roles are essential in ensuring your final wishes are carried out, but they do not serve the same purpose. Here’s a look at the differences between a power of attorney and an executor.
What is a Power of Attorney?
A power of attorney is a legal document that gives someone temporary or permanent control of your finances while you are alive. The person (attorney) with the power of attorney status is responsible for acting on your behalf if you are incapacitated or unable to carry out certain decisions or transactions. Always while you are alive.
It is a good idea to choose someone responsible and level-headed to avoid any potential abuse of power. A power of attorney is only valid while you are alive. When you die, the person named in your power of attorney will no longer have any powers.
What is an Executor?
An executor is someone you appoint in your will to carry out your final wishes after you die. The executor is responsible for ensuring that your assets are distributed according to your will and that any debts are paid.
Choosing your executor is a challenging decision, as the role has a lot of responsibility. You should choose someone you trust and know will be up to the task. It is also a good idea to discuss what you want with the person ahead of time. Keep in mind that the executor does not need to carry everything personally, but they can delegate the work to professionals, entirely or partially.
While the roles of executor and power of attorney relate to your final wishes, they each have different purposes. In short, a power of attorney helps you plan for what will happen if you become incapacitated, but are alive; and an executor helps carry out your final wishes after you die.
If you need help planning a will and your future choices, Zancope Notary can help. We will walk you through the process of creating your will, providing guidance that is personal, practical, and specific to your case.
At Zancope Notary Public, our specialties are Wills and Estate Planning documents (Representation Agreement and Power of Attorney) and real estate. We are a full-service firm. 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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