- What is an enduring power of attorney (EPA)?
- How to set up an EPA
- Other resources
If you become sick or disabled, you may not be able to make decisions for yourself. You can prepare for this by giving someone your trust an enduring power of attorney (EPA).
What is an enduring power of attorney (EPA)?
An EPA allows someone to:
- make choices for you as your “attorney”; and
- make sure important matters are taken care of.
This type of “attorney” is not a lawyer who provides legal advice for a fee. The law states that an EPA attorney:
- acts in your best interests; and
- has final decision-making authority.
What can an EPA do for you?
- Manage your property and pay all expenses in connection with it, such as rent and utilities.
- Lease, sell, mortgage and manage any property you own.
- Deposit and withdraw from your bank accounts and any safety deposit box.
- Invest your money.
- Sue or settle an account for unpaid debts owed to you, or that you owe.
- Deal with the maintenance, education and benefit of your dependent children or spouse.
Find out more by reading Do you need an Enduring Power of Attorney?
When can you make an EPA?
- Any time.
- You have to be at least 19 years old and mentally capable.
What if you do not have an EPA?
No person will have the legal authority to:
- manage your financial affairs such as paying bills and your mortgage; and
- ensure you have access to money you may need.
For someone to get an EPA after you’re incapacitated, they’d have to apply to the Supreme Court of Yukon for guardianship. This takes time and can be expensive.
When does an EPA come into effect?
Your EPA takes effect:
- as soon as it's signed and witnessed; or
- when you become mentally or physically unable to manage your own affairs.
Your EPA must state that your attorney cannot act until you’re unable to act on your own.
How to set up an EPA
Make sure your EPA is legal
- You must be at least 19 years old and mentally capable of understanding the nature and effect of the document.
- You must make the EPA voluntarily.
- You must sign the EPA in the presence of a lawyer.
- The lawyer who witnessed your EPA must sign a certificate of legal advice stating that you appeared to understand the nature and effect of the document.
The EPA must:
- be in writing; and
- you must sign and date it.
An EPA is enduring. This means it will be in effect after you’ve lost mental or physical capacity if the EPA states it:
- will continue to be in effect no matter what your mental capacity is; or
- takes effect when you become mentally incapable or physically disabled.
Decide who your attorney is
- They must be 19 years of age or older.
- Choose someone you trust to make your financial decisions.
- You may choose 1 (or more) attorney to jointly make decisions.
Contact a lawyer
- Get advice from a lawyer.
- Choose your EPA attorney (the person who will act on your behalf). Some people also choose an alternate attorney.
- Confirm that this person is willing to make decisions on your behalf. The person that you choose to be your attorney must accept this responsibility.
- Have a lawyer prepare an EPA that:
- complies with the Enduring Power of Attorney Act;
- appoints your attorney(s);
- confirms restrictions you want to give your attorney; and
- states when you wish your EPA to take effect (either immediately or when you are not mentally or physically capable).
- Give a copy of your EPA to your attorney. Tell them where you keep the original.
When can you cancel an EPA?
- You (the donor) cancel the EPA in writing, anytime.
- You’re mentally capable of understanding the results of cancelling the EPA.
- You die or your attorney dies (and you have not appointed an alternate attorney).
- The attorney you appointed:
- rejects being your EPA; and
- gives you notice while you're still capable.
- Your attorney, or another interested person, applies to the Supreme Court of Yukon for an order to cancel your EPA.
Public Law Library
In person: Ground floor, 2134 2nd Avenue in Whitehorse
Phone: 867-667-3086 or toll free in the Yukon 1-800-661-0408, extension 3086
Registry of the Supreme Court of Yukon
In person: Ground floor, Law Courts, 2134 2nd Avenue
Phone: 867-667-5937 or toll free in the Yukon 1-800-661-0408, extension 5937
Go to the Yukon Courts
Law Line – Yukon Public Legal Education Association
Phone: 867-668-5297 or toll free in the Yukon 1-866-667-4305
Go to the Law Line
Law Society of Yukon
Provides a lawyer referral service. A 1/2-hour consultation with a lawyer is $30 plus 5% GST.
Go to the Law Society
If you have questions, contact the Public Guardian and Trustee.
In person: 1st floor, Andrew Philipsen Law Centre, 2134 – 2nd Avenue in Whitehorse.
Phone: 867-667-5366, or toll free in the Yukon 1-800-661-0408, extension 5366