Setting up a Power of Attorney
IMPORTANT: Bridgewater Bank cannot and does not provide legal advice. The following is intended to provide general information on Powers of Attorney and how Bridgewater Bank operates when a customer uses one. Bridgewater Bank recommends that all of its customers consult with a lawyer to obtain advice on how to structure their financial affairs to protect them in the event of unfortunate events.
The possibility of becoming unable to handle your own affairs as a result of illness or a medical emergency is an unpleasant thought. It’s unfortunately something that can happen at any time. You may think that in times of crisis your family or friends will be able to quickly step in and manage your finances on your behalf. This may not always be the case. In fact, if proper preparations aren’t made, they will likely need to resolve time consuming and frustrating red tape before they can access your funds and make decisions for you.
The best way to handle this sort of crisis is to be prepared for it before it happens. You might consider setting up a Power of Attorney so that you’re able to be helped if the need arises.
A Power of Attorney can also be useful in non-emergency situations such as when you are travelling out-of-country for extended periods of time and you need assistance managing your affairs while you are away.
Please note: Bridgewater Bank cannot provide you with a Power of Attorney form to appoint an attorney. We require you to obtain your own Power of Attorney form.
What is a power of attorney?
A Power of Attorney (sometimes referred to as a POA) is a legal document. With it, you give a person (or more than one person) the authority to act on your behalf. This person (known as your attorney) can then serve as your legal representative to do certain things for you.
Please Note: Even when a Power of Attorney is in place, you can continue to make your own decisions about your finances as long as you are mentally capable.
Minimum requirements for an account to operate under the authority of a Power of Attorney:
• A valid Power of Attorney document in acceptable form according to the laws of the province in which it was executed must be provided. The document must be the original document or notarized certified true copy that is properly dated, signed and witnessed.
• A Power of Attorney Identification Form must be signed and completed. We require that all attorneys authorized to act on behalf of the customer are identified to meet the requirements of Canada’s Anti-Money Laundering Act and other legal requirements.
Conducting transactions through a Power of Attorney
• Bridgewater Bank will inform you if more time for further review of your Power of Attorney is required and will provide a general timeline for the review.
• Please note that Bridgewater Bank has the right to refuse to act on a POA or Attorney’s instructions. If we do so, you have the right to escalate this decision.
If you have questions about Powers of Attorneys, please contact us.
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