The topic for today is… Who’s got the keys? I wanted to chat a little about a couple of things that seniors and their families or any home owner needs to know.

As a seniors Real Estate consultant and specialist I get to work with a lot of families helping with the sale of their homes.

By law, in order to sell their home in BC, the person or persons on title must be of sound mind and able to sign all of the documents. The question is… in the event that person is alive but no longer mentally capable of managing their affairs due to illness or accident, is someone able to manage their financial affairs, pay their bills, file their taxes or even sell their home?

In BC we have something called an enduring power of attorney which allows you to appoint someone to look after your affairs. This power of attorney will stay in effect until you terminate it or pass away in which case the Executor named in your will takes over your affairs. The sale of your home then becomes an estate sale for which I personally have a lot of experience helping executors and the families in the sale of the home.

I remember a fellow coming to me to discuss the sale of his mom’s home. His mom was in a care facility and, as it turned out, was incapable of making any decisions. In this case, luckily another family member had POA and was able to look after her affairs; however, this is not always the case.  

Do yourself and your family a huge favor… If you have not already done this, decide who will be your trusted person or persons (I have 2: my wife and brother), talk to your lawyer or notary and get the Power of Attorney set up. If you don’t know someone we can provide you with a list of lawyers and notary’s in your area.

While you are there ask your Lawyer or Notary about a document called a Representation Agreement - giving you future control of your healthcare.

Lastly… Once you have it all set up, let your family know who you have appointed and where the documents are kept.

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