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Incapacity solutions

Providing you and your family peace of mind

Choosing an attorney or acting as one? We can help.

Did you know?

Approximately 1 million Canadians will have some form of dementia or cognitive impairment by 2020.

One of the main purposes of setting up a Power of Attorney1 is to appoint someone else to take care of your money and property while you’re alive, but physically (not applicable in Quebec) or mentally unable to manage your affairs yourself.

The responsibilities of an attorney2 demand a great deal of time, energy and attention to detail, and can be overwhelming for a person caring for a loved one at the same time.

If you are thinking about who you might choose to act on your behalf, or if you have been appointed as an attorney, we can provide the answers, support and guidance you need.

Our Power of Attorney services include

  • Acting as an attorney to manage the assets of a person who has become incapable
  • Giving assistance to individuals who have been named attorney by taking on some or all administrative duties
  • Providing access to professional investment management as needed
  • Advising on the benefits of naming alternate and co-attorneys to help ensure your wishes are carried out
  • Preparing tax returns and making any necessary payments
  • Selling property and organizing household goods and personal effects
  • Providing impartial and empathetic support for individuals named attorney
  • Safekeeping and consolidating accounts and assets

Choosing an attorney

Having a Power of Attorney1 is one of the most important things you can do for yourself and your family—to protect your own financial future, as well as the future of your loved ones in the event you become incapable of doing so yourself.

Your attorney2 will have tremendous power over your life. Choosing the right person to act on your behalf is a critical decision that has to be made with careful consideration of a number of factors.

Who makes a good attorney?

To make sure your finances and property are managed properly, it’s important to choose someone who:

  • Understands you and your values
  • Can handle—and ideally minimize—any potential family conflicts
  • Is trustworthy, and can reliably carry out your wishes
  • Lives close by—preferably in the same city
  • Is likely to survive you, yet is mature enough to have sound judgment

Because acting as an attorney is a great responsibility, it is important to inform the person you have chosen that you are appointing them. This will ensure they are willing and able to carry out the required duties, should the need arise.

How we can help

RBC Royal Trust professionals have the expertise and resources necessary to manage your financial affairs should you become incapable of managing them yourself. We will work with the individual appointed to ensure your personal care with objectivity and understanding, and ensure your best interests are taken care of.

Appointing us as attorney

Having an experienced professional at your side can provide welcome assistance during a difficult and challenging time. An RBC Royal Trust professional can act as your attorney should you become incapable.

This service is ideal for individuals who:

  • Have no suitable friends or family members who can act on their behalf
  • Are struggling with a challenging family situation
  • Haven't prepared and signed an enduring Power of Attorney or a Protection Mandate in Quebec, as the courts could appoint someone for you.
  • Feel the process is too complicated for family or friends
  • Have appointed RBC Royal Trust3 as executor/liquidator and who also wish to have us manage their financial affairs should they become incapable

Acting as attorney


Acting as an attorney can be overwhelming but you don't need to do it alone. We can help you with your tasks, so you can spend more time with your loved ones.
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Acting as an attorney (under a Power of Attorney1) is a great responsibility, and can be overwhelming—especially if you are caring for a loved one at the same time. Other circumstances such as family dynamics and time constraints can also add to the complexity.

If you have been appointed as an attorney2, your overall responsibility is to act honestly, in good faith and in the best interests of the person who appointed you (the “donor”).

Typical duties of an attorney

The duties of an attorney can vary by province or territory of residence. Responsibilities include:

  • Acting in the best interests of the donor. Involve the donor in decisions when possible and make sure all decisions would reflect the donor’s wishes.
  • Managing and safeguarding assets. Take an inventory of all of the donor’s assets, and take the necessary steps to secure them.
  • Keeping detailed records of all transactions involving the donor’s property and ensuring tax returns are filed.
  • Paying expenses on the donor’s behalf for his or her support and care, and for the support and care of any dependents, where applicable.
  • Communicating openly with the donor and his or her family. Ensure that you and the donor (and his or her family) have a mutual understanding of your role and the donor’s expectations.

How we can help

If you have agreed to be an attorney and are feeling overwhelmed by the duties, or lack the time and expertise required to fulfill your role, we are here to help. We can help you with some or all of the tasks involved, allowing you to spend more time with your loved ones. You can take comfort knowing that experts are handling the day-to-day responsibilities with care and attention, while you retain decision-making authority.

1) Terminology varies by province. “Protection Mandate” in Quebec, “Power of Attorney” in the rest of Canada. In Quebec, the “mandator” is the person who sets up the Protection Mandate and the “mandatary” is the person being appointed; in the rest of Canada, the appointee is considered the “attorney.”
2) In most jurisdictions across Canada, the person who sets up the Power of Attorney is known as the “donor” and the individual chosen to act on the donor’s behalf is called the “attorney.”
3) Please note our legal entity, Royal Trust Corporation of Canada or The Royal Trust Company (in Quebec) is named in a Will or Power of Attorney/Mandate in case of incapacity document when we are appointed.